School: Santa Fe High
Area of Science: economic
In our project, we want to attempt to model the effects that nuclear radiation from an atomic weapon (not the actual damage from the weapon) could have on a town/city. We want to model a nuclear weapon being dropped outside of a city, but where is radiation zone still hits the city. We then want to model the people of the city getting poisoned by nuclear radiation and how this affects their social behavior and economic status, such as whether or not they go to work or them having to pay substantial amounts of money for hospital bills. People not working or not being consumers (if everyone is at home or in the hospital sick they will not be buying from some businesses that supply items not needed for these issues) will cause businesses to be shut down. The economy of the city will be affected/devastated.
We plan to model our program in NetLogo. We want to have turtles represent people, and then a different breed of turtles represent radiation. The radiation will spread from a source that we determine to be were the bomb drops, somewhere outside of the city. The actual city/buildings/businesses will be represented by different colored patches. The turtles will move about the city in a way the represents a basic model of human behavior; however, when they become infected, their behavior will change. Instead of going to work and going to local businesses, they will stay at home and go to health businesses such as hospitals or pharmacies until they die. This will disturb the economy, and some businesses will start to be shut down. After our model is run, we want to look at the total economic effects that the bomb's radiation had on the city. We want to find an estimate of how much the city would have lost, how many people are dead, how many infected, how many businesses shut down, etc.
We have not started the programming yet; however, we have started to do research for the model. We are looking right now at how radiation from a bomb spreads and the radius that the city would need to be in with the bomb in order to get properly exposed to radiation. We are also researching the effects that radiation has on a human and how it affects their ability to do things such as go to work. We are trying to find an accurate timeline on how radiation poisoning will spread through our model and how long after infection, the radiation will eventually kill the person. We are going to start programming the model after the break when the second semester of school starts. One group member has a NetLogo class where the whole second semester is project-based, and they can spend all class time working on this project, and the rest of us will work on it in our free time, but we are on track to finish by the deadlines in our opinions.
Our sources for research:
Sponsoring Teacher: Brian Smith
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