Creating a Calorimetry Simulation in Adobe Flash

This past trimester I had my students create simulations using Adobe Flash. This was our second attempt at using Flash to create a simulation. The first attempt occurred during the first trimester (dealing with stoichiometry) and resulted in more of a calculator than a simulator. After collecting some feedback from the students, I set to work at making the second attempt more successful.

I found it difficult to keep everyone on the same page while walking them through the steps required to create our first project. This time around I decided to create a series of movie tutorials that students could use to work at their own pace. This worked unbelievably well, and allowed me to assist students when they hit a bump in the road.

I also provided image copies of the Actionscript code…images because I didn’t want the students to simply copy and paste the code. I wanted the students to experience the manual entry of code and gain an appreciation for the exactness that is required. One thing I found myself saying a lot…”You don’t have to be great at spelling…you just need to be consistent!” Students gained experience in troubleshooting common mistakes…some became good enough to help others spot their mistakes quickly.

Example of Calorimetry Simulation

Project Homepage (with Movies)

Sidenote: The last step (using the formatDecimals function) is an unnecessary step. A better approach is to use the toFixed(num) method that returns a string with “num” decimal places. Thanks to one of my current students for calling my attention to this new addition in AS3.0.

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