We implemented a simulation-based learning environment in a summer camp program in which 45 ninth-grade students conducted virtual experiments using computer-based simulations to learn the concepts of buoyancy. We collected data including all students' responses to the pretests, assessments embedded during class in the learning environment, and posttests. All the tests measured the students' conceptual knowledge of buoyancy and inquiry skills. We conducted path analyses to investigate how the students developed their conceptual knowledge and inquiry skills during and after learning within the learning environment. A common significant path is identified among students' prior knowledge and skills and students' developed knowledge and skills.