For many years now, introductory mechanics instructional practice has included having students develop simple mechanics models, usually starting with kinematics. Students use a spreadsheet or simple computer program to establish initial (t0 = 0) position, velocity, and acceleration of an object, then use the kinematics equations to calculate a change in position and velocity a short time interval later (t1 = t0 + Δt), add in the changes (x1 = x0 + Δx, etc.), and repeat the process. Usually results are graphed and shown in a table and interpreted, then friction, time varying, and velocity dependent forces added in, time step interval shortened, and so forth to explore model limits, further develop the model, etc. This modeling mechanics approach is richly established, well documented, and shown in some computer workshop at most every...

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