Developing and Using Models
Models are a simpler version of something complex. They are made up and created from familiar things and have the purpose of explaining confusing things. Models are used to show how something looks on a specific scale, demonstrate how things work, and help analyze and predict what will happen in a real system. They are important because they demonstrate something confusing in a simple fashion. They allow something complicated to be made simple and serve as a reference for something larger than what it actually is. Some models I have used in science classes include: globes, watershed maps, maps, dioramas, and concept maps.
The Buggy Lab
In the Buggy Lab, we used a model car, or buggy. When we completed constructing this car, we put it through a series of tests. The results from these tests were then turned into graphs, indicating time and position. We were then able to analyze these graphs and form conclusions about the buggy and how far it traveled in a given amount of time.
The LittleBits Vehicle Lab
In this lab, I worked with a group of people to construct a vehicle. That vehicle was made from common household goods. Once completed, it had to go through different tests such as traveling in a straight line and through an obstacle course. When doing this, we calculated the vehicle and analyzed its velocity and how far and efficiently it traveled over a series of different surfaces. Our analysis was our outcome. We would not have been able to do the analysis without the vehicle model.