Physics Unit 0 - Tools for Scientific Thinking
This unit introduces students to building conceptual models, designing experiments, and analyzing data in physics.
this material will not be taught in a separate unit in 2018-2019
to be updated . . .
excerpted from "Modern Genetics for All Students" by Washington University in St. Louis
What is a Model?
And What is it Good For?
AS WE GREW UP,
most of us played with various models: model cars, model planes, model houses (doll houses), model people (dolls), etc.
Not all models are designed for childhood play, however.
Models serve important functions in many areas of adult life.
Engineers, for example, evaluate various possible airplane designs by building scale models and examining how they behave in a wind tunnel (which is itself a model of the atmosphere).
Models are usually highly simplified relative to the objects that they portray, and often several different models, simplified in different ways, are required to study different aspects of the same object.
For example, the engineer who is designing the seats for a commercial airliner requires a very different kind of model than does the engineer who is designing the wings.
Neither of these models would necessarily be more correct than the other; they would merely be simplified in different ways in order to serve different purposes.