A model-based view of physics provides a framework within which computational activities may be structured so as to present to students an authentic representation of physics as a discipline. The use of the framework in teaching computation at the introductory physics level is illustrated by a case study based on the simultaneous translation and rotation of a disk-shaped spaceship. Student responses to an interactive worksheet are used to support guidelines for the design of computational tasks to enhance the understanding of physical systems through numerical problem solving.

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