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Abstract

Many of the greatest challenges facing humanity in coming decades have a scientific component: energy needs, disease pandemics, water and food security, climate change, machine intelligence and many not yet imagined. The tendency has been to assume that the solutions to these challenges will be developed by scientists, engineers and technologists, but it is increasingly important that all citizens have sufficient understanding of science to participate in the democratic processes that are necessary to address major issues. Enhancing the science education of all citizens is a huge challenge in itself, and will require a very wide range of strategies and approaches. One small contribution can come from teaching approaches using new technologies, including interactive simulations. This paper briefly describes interactive simulations and an approach to teaching using them, and addresses evidence of the effectiveness of this approach. Outcomes showed significant learning gains, relative to a control group, that were not differentiated by gender, or for students at different levels of academic achievement, suggesting that this approach may be effective as one contribution toward science education for all.

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