# Investigation Sequence

## Title

Models 2Mandi Bickham and Amy Gilsdorf

Date

## Focus Questions

What is a model? How do models further understanding?

## Concepts

### Content: Earth, Physical, & Life

### Cross cutting concepts

Models can be used to represent things in physical, earth, and life science.

Models are structures that correspond to real objects, events, or classes of
events.

Seeing how a model changes may suggest how the real thing works if the same
were done to it.

A model though different from the real thing can be used to learn something
about the real thing.

Models can be conceptual and communicated through words and drawings, or can
be physical and demonstrable.

There are two basic types of models, physical and conceptual.

### Science Practice

Observations are used to help make explanations.

Investigation is an adventure that has been enjoyed by people everywhere and
for all time.

Clear communication gives other people information about your discoveries and
ideas.

### Personal, Social, Technology, Nature of Science, History

People continue inventing new ways of doing things, solving problems, and getting
work done.

Models can be used to represent these new ideas and inventions.

The application and the use of models in science and technology can and will
benefit society.

Science requires different abilities from many different types of people.

Many people derive a great pleasure from doing science.

## Background information

Models are representations of systems (objects and their relationships) that prove possible answers to questions. Physical models are models, which can be subjected to tests to see if they comply with expectations. ** (For any additional information on activities see Foss: Models and Designs)

## Activity Sequence

1. Humdingers2. Black Boxes

3. Drought Stopper

4. Fog Chamber

5. Go Carts

6. Cart tricks

7. Electric Circuits

## Activity Descriptions

Hum Dingers

Purpose

In hum dingers the students will:

Observe a model of a fanciful device called a hum dinger.

Organize and assemble components to make a hum dinger.

Compare their hum dingers to the model.

Learn concepts that will contribute to understanding of the following themes:
structure, interaction, and system.

Materials

-See figure 1

For each group of four students:

1 construction board and base, 1 bag of construction materials, D-cell, 1 motor,
4 short sticks, 4 medium sticks, 4 long sticks, 4 hubs, wooden, 10 rubber bands,
#16, 4 binder clips, small, 4 paper clips, jumbo, 1 bell, 2 clothespins

For the class:

1 humdinger, 2 rolls of masking tape, 1 ball of string, wire, no. 22, insulated,
paper clips, scissors, pair of pliers, large plastic zip bags, 1 large shopping
bag

Procedure

Ask students if they know what a hum dinger is.

Introduce the model of a hum dinger. Have students observe how the hum dinger
works. Do not show them how it works.

Challenge students to make a hum dinger of their own from their observations.

Tell them that they are making a model of the hum dinger. That is they do not
need to make it exactly the way yours is made. All they need to do is make it
work the way that yours did.

Explain the ground rules. Tell students that they are working in collaborative
groups of four and that all-additional materials will be at the materials station.

Form collaborative groups.

Distribute materials.

Watch the students work.

Provide engineering hints if needed.

Call students together to test the hum dingers.

Show students the demonstration hum dinger.

How does your model compare to the real hum dinger?

How does this compare to other models that we have worked with?

How did you use observations to make your model?

How does that compare to how scientists use models?

What did you learn about how to make things?

How would you describe your model to another person (orally, in writing, with
a diagram, take a picture)?

If you enjoyed making your model, is this something that you would do at home
or as an occupation?

Clean up.

Black Boxes

Purpose

In the black boxes the students will

Make multisensory observations of black boxes.

Develop conceptual models of black boxes.

Communicate models through discussion and drawing.

Construct concrete models to compare to conceptual models.

Learn concepts that will contribute to understanding of the following themes:
structure, interaction and system.

Materials

For each team of two students:

1 black box, labeled A, B, C, or D, Scratch paper

For the class

50 tri-wall cardboard triangles, 50 tri-wall cardboard rectangles, 16 black
boxes, empty, 40 glass marbles, 1 roll of electrician’s tape, black, labels
for the black boxes (dots, _" diameter), permanent marking pen, masking
tape

Procedure

1. Ask the students what a model is? Ask if they like puzzles? Tell them that
many of the investigations that scientists do are like puzzles and if they enjoy
puzzles they may enjoy today’s activity.

2. Introduce the black box challenge. Show students black boxes. Tell them that
they can’t look inside because the boxes can’t be opened. Challenge
them to figure out what the box looks like inside.

3. Remind them that a model is an explanation of something that can’t be
observed directly created by related observations.

4. Form teams of two and assign boxes.

5. Have students identify the marble.

6. Have students draw the box and its contents (where the marble can and can’t
go will help them infer the contents position).

7. Bring the class back together.

8. Discuss and interpret the students’ models.

9. Work towards a consensus in conference groups.

10. Draw the consensus models.

11. Discuss the final models. What other things do scientists deal with that
they cannot see? How do the black boxes relate to those?

12. How does that compare to how scientists use models?

13. How would you describe your model to another person (orally, in writing,
with a diagram, take a picture)?

14. If you enjoyed working with your model, is this something that you would
enjoy working with at home or doing as an occupation?

Drought Stopper

Purpose

Communicate models through discussion and drawing.

Construct concrete models to compare to conceptual models.

Learn concepts that will contribute to understanding of the following themes:
structure, interaction, and system.

Materials

See figure 1

1 drought stopper apparatus *, 2 pieces of clear plastic tubing, 1 funnel, 1-1
liter container with hole, cardboard box, small, 2 basins, 1 beaker, 1,000 ml,
1 beaker, 100 ml, and water

Procedure

1. Before students come into room set up the drought stopper and prime the system.

2. Do you think it is possible to create water? That is what I am going to do.

3. Demonstrate the drought stopper. (Students cannot see the inside of the drought
stopper.)

4. Have students draw the inside of the drought stopper.

5. Allow students to run water through the system so that they can gain additional
information to build their own drought stopper. (Do not allow them to move the
system.)

6. Introduce models.

7. Discuss and interpret student models.

8. Work towards a consensus in conference groups.

9. Draw the consensus models.

10. Discuss the final models.

11. How would you describe your model to another person (orally, in writing,
with a diagram, take a picture)?

12. How did you use observations to make your model?

13. How does that compare to how scientists use models?

14. What did you learn about how to make things?

see Models and Designs in Foss for directions on construction of the drought
stopper.

Fog Chamber

Purpose

Communicate models through discussion and drawing.

Construct concrete models to compare to conceptual models.

Learn concepts that will contribute to understanding of the following themes:
structure, interaction, and system.

Materials

1- 20 oz , plastic pop bottle with lid, Matches, Tap water

Procedure

1. Do you believe in magic? Well I have a demonstration that will make you a
believer.

2. Show students plastic pop bottle.

3. Drop a lit match into the jar.

4. Replace the lid and squeeze the pop bottle. Fog will form inside.

5. Ask the student’s to explain what’s going on.

6. Introduce models.

7. Make hypotheses.

8. Give students hints.

9. Do demonstration again so students can observe the Fog Chamber again.

10. Discuss hypotheses.

11. Have students conference in small groups and decide what hypothesis best
describes this model.

12. Discuss final consensus for what the model represents. (This model represents
how clouds form.)

13. How does this compare to the other models that we have looked at?

14. Can you see yourself working with models at home or as an occupation?

Go-Carts

Purpose

In Go-Carts the students will:

Construct rolling carts from familiar materials.

Use a "design-and-test" approach to solve specific problems.

Use eye/hand coordination and spatial relationships to design carts that perform
predetermined functions.

Relate structures to functions.

Learn concepts that will contribute to understanding of the following themes:
Structure, interaction, and system.

Materials

For each team of two students:

1 bag of construction materials, 2 short sticks, 2 medium sticks, 2 long sticks,
4 hubs, wood, 10 rubber , bands, #16, 2 binder clips, small, 2 brass fasteners,
1 in, 4 paper clips, jumbo, 2 clothespins, 1 construction board and base, 1
meter tape, 1 thick book, 1 pair of scissors, 1 student sheet called Go-, Cart
Parts Inventory, 1 student sheet called Wheel Patterns

For the class:

1 rubber-band power demonstration, 2 rolls of masking tape, wire, no.22, insulated,
string, cardboard, 1 pair of pliers, 1 pair of scissors, large, 1 duplication
master for Go-Cart Parts Inventory, 1 Duplication master for Wheel Patterns

Procedure

1. Ask students how they could make a cart.

2. Ask students what kind of challenge they could pose for themselves with the
cart (fastest, drive straight, go the farthest…).

3. Decide on construction materials.

4. Clarify the task

5. Form teams

6. Distribute materials and start

7. Watch students work

8. Test the Go-Carts

9. Wrap up part one

13. Review Go-Cart designs

14. Share problems

15. Discuss solutions to the problems (vary size of the wheel and axle).

16. Discuss the variables that affected the way the cart moved (friction, speed,
wheels, etc.)

17. Create other problems.

18. Discuss how the cart is related to a racecar and if pit crewmembers would
have to think about the same variables students came up with.

19. How could you change your model to improve your car’s speed?

Cart Tricks

Purpose

Modify self-propelled carts to perform specific tricks.

Relate cart design to cart performance.

Gain experience with design and engineering tasks.

Investigate the relationships among variables that result in various cart tricks:
wheel size, position, and orientation.

Learn concept that will contribute to understanding of the following themes:
structure, interaction, and system.

Materials

For each team of two students:

1 bag of construction materials, 2 short sticks, 2 medium sticks, 2 long sticks.
4 hubs, wood, 10 rubber bands, #16, 2 binder clips, small, 2 brass fasteners,
1 in, 4 paper clips, jumbo, 2 clothespins, 1 meter tape, 1 pair of scissors,
1 student sheet called Go-Cart Parts Inventory, 1 student sheet called Wheel
Patterns, 1 Student sheet called Oval Patterns

For the class:

2 rolls of masking tape, Wire, no.22, insulated, String, Cardboard , 1 pair
of scissors, large, 1 duplication master for Go-Cart Parts Inventory, 1 Duplication
master for Wheel Patterns, 1 Duplication master for Oval Patterns

Procedure

1. Review carts from previous activity and possible changes and challenges discussed.

2. Pose and decide on a new challenge(s).

3. State the challenge(s).

4. Decide on materials.

5. Form teams.

6. Distribute materials and start the activity.

7. Write out the plans.

8. Start building the trick carts.

9. Test and prepare for runs.

10. Conduct runs.

11. Show and tell.

12. Have students explain product development. Problems they had and how they
solved or didn’t solve them.

13. Questions to ask the students: How did you alter your car to make it do
the different tricks. What other ways could you have altered your car?

14. Discuss the variables that affected the way the cart moved (friction, speed,
wheels, etc.)

15. Create other problems.

16. Discuss how the cart is related to a racecar and if pit crewmembers would
have to think about the same variables students came up with.

17. How could you change your model to improve your car’s speed?

Electric Circuits

Purpose:

Students will build and observe series and parallel circuits.

Materials:

2 D cells, 3 flashlight bulbs and holders, 7 pieces of wire, 15-25 cm, 2 pieces
of wire, 30-40 cm

Procedure

1. Ask students what an electrical circuit is and share ideas.

2. Distribute the materials to each group.

3. Have them build a circuit.

4. Discuss what conditions were needed to light the bulb.

5. Ask what changes could be made to get the same results.

6. Have students draw a schematic and explain how the electricity flows through
the circuit and electricity is transferred in the light bulb to light.

7. Ask the students what a model is. If they don’t explain that their diagrams
are models, point that out.

8. Ask them if they could use their model to predict how they would need to
wire a circuit so that it would transfer electricity to two bulbs.

9. Have students try their ideas. If no one has drawn a circuit with bulbs in
series and parallel, you may want to introduce a diagram of each, or wait till
later.

10. Have groups build their circuits and others drawn.

11. Ask them to explain the flow of electricity and predict using their models
what will happen when one of the bulbs is removed. Have students remove a bulb
and record the results.

12. If students have not built both parallel and series circuits have them do
so and use their models to predict what will happen when a bulb is removed.
Have them test their predictions and record results.

13. Compare the brightness of the bulbs in the two circuits. Record observations
use the model to explain their observations.

14. Have all groups share their results and create a class model to explain
all circuits.

15. Ask how they would use models in real life.

16. Ask how they can use the information they learned about electric circuits.