We are developing, testing, and validating a new sea ice dynamics model that treats the ice cover as an elastic/decohesive material in the permanent pack and includes the correct frazil/pancake behavior in the marginal zone. Two salient features of present ice dynamics models are that they do not: 1) reproduce the oriented fracture patterns of openings and closings in the pack ice, and 2) accurately model the effects of frazil/pancake ice formation in the ice margin. These poorly modeled areas account for a substantial portion of the ice growth, turbulent heat flux to the atmosphere, salt flux to the ocean, and energy dissipation due to slippage, ridging, and rafting, in the Arctic. Existing sea ice models have shown limited success in predicting the degree to which a lead will open for prescribed or observed forcing conditions. An important aspect of the new model we are developing is that the existence of cracks, along with their orientation, opening, and closing, is predicted. To put this effort in perspective a short history of ice dynamics modeling and data collection is presented. The RGPS data set is used to validate the model. As part of the testing and validation of the model, we are working on a new metric for comparing linear features (leads and ridges) in the data and model to be used in data assimilation for this model. The model framework is presented as well as some results showing the creation and development of leads in a simulation of ice dynamics in the Beaufort Sea. Other presentations by the authors will show other results from this effort.