Featured Student Project 01
Hybrid Gasoline-Electric Vehicles

Joseph Kibe
Joseph Kibe

Can automakers cope with the increasing demand for hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles?

This article uses system dynamics simulation to improve the understanding of the various factors that affect the sales and adoption of hybrid gasoline-electric automobiles. Consumers have more compelling reasons than ever before—high oil prices, environmental concerns, security concerns, etc.—to purchase hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles.

This article assesses whether or not automakers will be able to cope with increasing demand from consumers.

Hybrid Vehicles Model Diagram
Hybrid Vehicles Paper
Hybrid Vehicles Presentation

Featured Student Project 02
Global Warming

Marcus Robinson

Marcus Robinson
Co-winner of the Barry Richmond Scholarship (2009) (age 18)

How much do carbon emissions need to be reduced in order to stop global warming?

My model is based on the concept of global warming. I designed it to answer the question of how quickly and by how much humans need to reduce their carbon emissions. Right from the start I realized it would be impossible to create a complete or even close to complete model about global warming because the issue is so complex. Instead I tried to focus on the major feed back loops that exist in global warming. An example includes how temperature relates to the earth’s ability to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and how that increase in CO2 means a hotter climate.

I realize that any results my model yields are not exact numbers, but they do highlight the important concepts of global warming and how critical it is for humans to respond.

Global Warming Model Diagram
Global Warming Paper
Global Warming Presentation



Featured Student Project 03
Invasive Species and Ecosystems

James Ranney
James Ranney
Co-winner of the Barry Richmond Scholarship (2009) (age 18)

What is the impact of introducing an invasive species into an ecosystem?

This research project aims to better understand the complex nature of ecosystems and how major changes affect their equilibrium. The principle species include herons, trout, newts and bullfrogs.

The model begins with a simple food chain descending from herons to trout to newts. After the ecosystem reaches a healthy equilibrium, bullfrogs are introduced into the model. The introduction of an invasive secondary consumer greatly upsets the previously established balance.

This model gives us a window into the complex balance of ecosystems, and helps us understand the effects of major changes, specifically invasive species.

Invasive Species Model Diagram
Invasive Species Paper
Invasive Species Presentation

Student Projects
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Other Student Projects
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To view student presentations, click the desired project number and click play.

Mouse-over the video to access controls to pause/play, adjust the volume, and advanced through the presentation with the slider. You can also download the project documents (report, handout, diagram and presentation slides) by clicking on any project documents link.

The students featured on this page presented their models in a parallel session at the International System Dynamics Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in July 2009. The standing-room-only audience was impressed with the level of understanding displayed in the presentations and in each student’s ability to answer audience questions about the topic they studied. Later the same day these three students, and a fourth student, Henry Li, age 15, (see student projects page) presented posters of their work.

Students whose ages range from 14 to 18 are capable of understanding a great deal about the complexity inherent in many of the serious problems that face the leaders of our country. They can demonstrate that understanding by researching, building, and explaining a model of a systemic problem that is of interest to them. They focus on feedback analysis and trying to uncover the behavior within the system (endogenous behavior) that causes the problem.


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