The basic idea of this evolving workshop is to use storytelling to motivate interest in systems biology (Learning Objectives). We begin with the Trickster tale “Giddy Up, Wolfie” about a rabbit (chokfi) who tries to steal a wolf’s (nashoba) girlfriend. From there, we discuss rabbit-wolf (chokfi-nashoba) dynamics in the wild. Given time, students engage in a version of freeze-tag, which allows them to model and then graph predator-prey dynamics. We follow with a agent-based predator-prey model implemented in NetLogo that uses Chickasaw words for the model variables (feel free to email me for the code). Using NetLogo simulations, students also completed a Nashoba Chokfi Worksheet, which is based off of a NIMBioS worksheet. Additional activities include extraction of DNA from strawberries (a rare food for rabbits, but has strong cultural significance and is filled with DNA), which is preceeded by a process-oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) lesson on DNA structure.
This project is partially funded by a K-12 STEM outreach grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.