Paul Horwitz

Professional Title
Senior Scientist
About Me (Bio)
Dr. Paul Horwitz, Director of the Modeling Center at the Concord Consortium, is a theoretical physicist with broad interests in the application of technology to science and math education. Much of his research has used computer-based manipulable models to create challenging game-like activities that pose problems and then monitor and react to students’ actions. He was the Principal Investigator on the ThinkerTools Project, which pioneered the use of such activities for teaching Newtonian mechanics. RelLab, a simulated “Relativity Laboratory” that he designed, won two EDUCOM Higher Education Software Awards. He also directed the design and implementation of GenScope as well as its successor program BioLogica—multi-level models of genetic processes ranging in scale from DNA to populations. Currently, he directs a project that is teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection to 4th grade students, using a model of plant and animal populations that reproduce with variation. The adaptations of these populations to different environments over many generations is an emergent behavior that arises naturally as a result of selective pressure on heritable traits.
Concord Consortium

This project will design, develop, and examine the learning outcomes of a new curriculum unit for biology that embodies the conceptual framework of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The curriculum materials to be developed by this project will focus on two areas of study that are central to the life sciences: genetics and the processes of evolution by natural selection.

Concord Consortium

This project uses computer-based models of interacting organisms and their environments to support a learning progression leading to an appreciation of the theory of evolution and evidence that supports it. The project has created a research-based curriculum centered on progressively complex models that exhibit emergent behavior. The project will help improve the teaching of complex scientific topics and provide a reliable means of directly assessing students' conceptual understanding and inquiry skills.

Concord Consortium

This project examines the design principles by which computer-based science learning experiences for students designed for classroom use can be integrated into virtual worlds that leverage students' learning of science in an informal and collaborative online environment. GeniVille is the integration of Geniverse, a education based game that develops middle school students' understanding of genetics with Whyville, an educational virtual word in which students can engage in a wide variety of science activities and games.