Quick Start

The Biology
The Simulation
The Aquafarmer
The Process of Collecting Data
Stocking Density Experiments
Dissolved Oxygen Experiments
Protein Content Experiments
The Results
Recording Your Data
For the Advanced Problem Solver
PS AquaFarm

The Simulation: What you are doing

A computer simulation is a model.  Scientists regularly use models to explore phenomena that occur in nature.  Often, those phenomena occur too slowly or too quickly to be observed directly.  In other cases, nature's features are too large for an observer to follow the changes taking place.  Just as often, the features under examination are too small.  In each of these cases, scientists develop models of natural activities in order to see the detail of changes that take place at extremes: slow, fast, large, and small.  For example, many biological and geological changes are very slow, occurring over periods of days, months, years, or even centuries.  By contrast, many chemical reactions take place in milliseconds.  Some of the most familiar reactions are understood due to the results that occur, even if the reaction itself has never been directly observed in detail.  Models allow scientists to understand the details.

This simulation gives you the opportunity to examine, in a matter of just a few minutes, the consequences of providing different quantities of nutrients to a population of fish.  In the natural world, such an experiment would take months.  As an additional bonus, the results of this simulation provide you with meaningful numbers so that even if you fail to make a profit, you can quantify the results.  Using this model, if you "succeed" only in causing the death of thousands of fish, you can avoid the smelly consequences of this kind of success.

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