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Stella is a tool for examining system dynamics: changes in populations over time.

The benefits of using a tool such as Stella* is that it is not discipline specific. A number of texts describe the use of Stella for modeling dynamic systems. The tool is increasingly used in schools to develop inquiry skills in students and to introduce them to scientific method [Hannon and Ruth, 1994; Feurzig and Roberts, 1999].

Tutorial (PDF) on creating a Stella Model, created as part of Maryland Virtual High School's (MVHS) materials on System Dynamics.

*Other general tools for modeling include: Matlab, Mathematica and Berkely Madonna.

Sites containing Stella models for biology and other disciplines:

High Performance Systems, Inc. This company produces the Stella software and provides model examples and tutorials that can be downloaded.

Maryland Virtual High School. This organization develops lesson plans, lessons and models that can be used in high school curricula. The models cover a range of topic. A number of highly complex models that are appropriate for instruction across education levels can be found at this site.

Shodor Education Foundation. This foundation has created a database of lesson plans and tools that can be used to learn about modeling, math and science. These can be found as part of their Master Tools.