School: ARTESIA HIGH
Area of Science: Environmental Science
Interim: Problem Definition:
Many people have been highly concerned about the devastation caused by the thoughtless destruction of our world's vegatation. There are many important consequences to deforestation that many people do not consider. For instance, the beauty of our forests will fade away and be lost forever. Many animals will become endangered or even extinct due to the loss of their natural habitat and food sources. Most importantly, the conversion of cardon dioxide into oxygen would cease if we continued this reckless path of destrucion. This obviously one-track human existence shyould cease immediately if we are to preserve the Earth.
Our goal is a simulation involving a predator-prey model between vegetation and oxygen-breathing creatures. It will start as a simple model with humans and vegetation and will progress to include such variables as atmospheric composition and alternate sources of plant and animal departure save old age. By construcing multiple, parallel algorithms, we will be able to observe what will happen to humankind as plants are consumed and the production of oxygen is lessened.
Using a modeling program such as Java or StarLogo, we will create the simulation of human life and a forest. The humans will breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide and occasionally chop down trees. The trees will take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. In addtion to this, both will succumb to disease and other modern-day problems, resulting in the shortening of their average life-spans. After this simple model has been created, we will add more variables such as lung capacities, other oxygen producers, and species of trees. Upon completion of this model, we should have an accurate representation of the possibilities of what the future has in store for our planet.
Progress to date:
Thus far, we have been gathering knowledge as well as furthering our understanding of computer modeling programs. We have also begun to experiment with Java and StarLogo. So far, we have unearthed all the necessary data for our project. Soon, we will add varibles to our simple models. Since we are planning on implementing Java into our very own verson of StarLogo, two members of our team have volunteered to learn about Java and its programming commands. We hope to remedy our inexperience by studying Java. The two volunteers have succeeded in creating simp-le Java programs and are becoming more fluent in its language. At the same time, we have two more team members researching to supply us with the needed infomarmation for the variables. We have acquired enough information to work with, and are looking for anything else we might need. Our other member is being tutored in HTML so she can get used to a computer language. We have a researcher keeping her ahead and helping her learn HTML.
After we compile the program and it is able to run without any malfunctions, we can study the information that it outputs to help future scientists predict what could happen in our world. In movies such as "The Day After Tomorrow," models such as this are extremely important. If an event such as that were to occur, we would need to use this model to "stay ahead of the game." Also, bu showing such events can take place in real life, we will be better prepared to adapt to the changes to our world.
Sponsoring Teacher: Randall Gaylor