Dr. Randy M. Russell

Welcome! I develop resources to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education, with a special emphasis on simulations and games. This web site includes:

Modeling Marine Ecosystems with Virtual Reality

This curriculum, which I developed in collaboration with NOAA Ocean Service Education and NOAA Fisheries, uses a Virtual Reality (VR) software environment to visualize marine ecosystems. Think of it as VR SCUBA diving in environments where the numbers and types of fishes are based on observations and data from models. Three modules, Ocean Food WebsObservations and Models, and Predators and Prey, help high school students learn about scientific modeling and complex systems in a marine context.

NOAA Modeling Marine Ecosystems with Virtual Reality curriculum

Mars Helicopter Lesson Plan

Congratulations to NASA for the first powered flight on another world! Explore the engineering and science behind the Ingenuity Mars helicopter in the Mars Helicopter Lesson Plan. The lesson, suitable for middle school and high school students (and probably some upper elementary classes as well), helps students explore the engineering design choices that went into creating the Mars Helicopter. In the lesson, students explore explore design features of Earthly rotorcraft with an eye towards which aspects could be modified to support flight in Mars’ thin atmosphere. Along the way, students learn about the differences between Earth and Mars, the structure of Earth’s atmosphere, and the history (and planned future) of flight on other planets.

NASA Mars Helicopter Ingenuity

Reviews of Simulations & Games for STEM Education

Check out these helpful reviews of simulations and games for STEM education:

Throughout 2020 I will be adding science education simulations and games that I have created to this web site.

A few of my most recent presentations, workshops and webinars are listed on my presentations page. My publications page lists some of the research articles and other publications I’ve authored or co-authored. More coming soon!

PhET Glacier simulation

COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease

Simulations, models, and visualizations can help you understand the COVID disease and how it spreads. Check out this list of interactive simulations and educational games about infectious disease!

Coronavirus - CDC