PROJECT DARIEN K-12 Educational Tools: 

Project Darien is an agent-based model that helps both teachers and students learn about the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19 Delta Variant), including how different rules (public policies) and vaccinations affect the spread of the virus. In the model you will find Clerytown, an ordinary town with a local school, playground, library, store, hospital, and family housing. As students go about their daily lives in Clerytown, you will be able to watch (and control) how the Coronavirus spreads over time. Will you be able to eradicate the virus? What choices make Clerytown safer, or more dangerous? There are many different tools at your disposal! 

While Clerytown is imaginary, the results generated by this model are based on real-world COVID-19 data collected by both the Project Darien Team (UD Chemistry and Bioengineering Department) and other professional analysts, making the model a valuable tool in learning about the virus, and how viral infection works under different safety protocols. We hope that you enjoy using the model!

Web Launcher
Download Now
Download Student Activities


Project Darien’s COVID-19 Model is available in both Web and Desktop App formats. You can launch the model online in a new tab by clicking the ‘Web Launcher’ button, or download it to your computer for offline use!

Both versions come with easy, step-by-step instructions and a variety of sliders for you to play with. These sliders affect the exposure of the virus, such as how many students started out sick, and whether or not sick students are vaccinated. Create your own scenarios out of curiosity, or pair your discoveries with a student ACTivity! (More information on the right).

Desktop version is powered by the NetLogo software environment. App size: ~ 50KB.


Looking to introduce fun and informative materials in your latest lesson plan? Look no further! Our team has produced a resource hub of complementary activities that tie into the Educational Model that are perfect for the classroom. Whether it is recording findings on different exposure scenarios, drawing graphs and charts, or tying in real-world data from the pandemic, these activities are sure to stir up new discussions and instill a greater understanding of how COVID-19 (and viruses overall) spread amongst student populations.

Materials are provided in .docx format, and are print-ready for use! Check out the link above.

Our Mission (Abstract):

Decision making and policy setting by universities and localities requires knowledge of how people move and interact in the environment. This program adapts new scientific approaches in population balance modeling developed under the auspices of the National Science Foundation to model human movement and interaction in our college and town with the goal of providing new tools to help in developing rational strategies for mitigation and eventual elimination of the novel corona virus, as well as future biological threats. Data for the model input will be obtained from high-definition video footage of public, outdoor areas including green spaces/parks, sidewalks/streets, and campus walkways/congregating spaces analyzed by artificial intelligence algorithms. Highly efficient tools, again developed in prior research funded by the National Science Foundation, will enable determining key parameters needed for epidemiological models including effective transmission rates. Epidemiological modeling will be translated into a dashboard for use by policy makers as well as for public education about various mitigation strategies. This RAPID project will provide a computational tool and example for use more broadly by communities and in additional and future, challenging public health issues.

Model Features:
  • Simple Step-By-Step instructions for both students and instructors to easily create their own scenarios.
  • ON/OFF Toggles for quarantining students and stay-at-home policies.
  • Sliders for how many students are initially infected,  % of mask compliance, and vaccination percentage.
  • Time slider (fast-forward, slow motion).
  • Day / Night cycle.
  • Movement AI for students.
  • Graphs and data generated in real-time.
  • Open-Source NetLogo code for modification available on all platforms.

Funding For This Project Was Provided By The National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…” NSF is vital because it supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.

(Official Description from, visit the official website here for further information and resources) 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  This project is funded by the National Science Foundation CBET #2040503.   We gratefully acknowledge the College of Engineering IT system support team as well as the UD Central IT Research Computing group and Prof Michael Mackay for technical support and resources in support of this project, as well as the numerous UD staff, faculty and students who have contributed to and supported this effort.