Examples of students' pre-post responses to our models survey
Question 1: How would you describe what a model (in science) is to someone who didn't know this term?
Pre: no response (0)
Post: I would describe a model as a symbol for something in the real world or almost a visual dictionary for a process in science. A model in science could show making of volcanoes, like what we did in the WISE project or even the formation of a log into petrified wood. (3)
Pre: When companies make cars they don't just make the car, first they make a mini one, a model car, a model airplane, model volcano. (2)
Post: A model is something that helps to show or explain. (3)
Question 2: What are models in science used for?
Pre: To show something that happens for science in a smaller area. (2 ambiguous use of happens)
Post: Models in science are used for showing a process that happens in real life that is hard to make a copy of, such as formation of volcanoes. (3)
Question 3: How close does a model have to be to the real thing?
Pre: It could be anything that has something to do with your topic. If you had to do a model of a cat, you could do a poster with pictures. (0)
Post: A model just has to show what it is or how it works, so it really depends on the project. (3)
Pre: A model doesn't have to be too close to the real thing as long as it could be recognized as the real thing. (2)
Post: It only has to be as close to the real thing so that people could understand the real thing from the model. (3)
Pre: A model has to be, maybe not exact but very accurate to the real thing. (2)
Post: A model doesn't have to be exact but it has to be fairly accurate and explain in detail how the real thing works. (3)
Question 4: What is important to include in a scientific model?
Pre: All the different parts of the model. (1)
Post: An important thing to remember to include in a scientific model is a key, labels, or some kind of information that would help us to better understand it. (2)
Pre: A scale of the size if it has changed. (2)
Post: All of the evidence to how you came up with the model and an explanation of it. (3)
Question 5: Can scientists have more than one model for the same thing?
Pre: no response (0)
Post: Yes, they can because not all the scientists are going to have the same evidence and explanation on something. (3)
Pre: Scientists can have more than one model to explain another part of something. (2)
Post: Scientist can have more than one model because they might need to explain one thing that is part of another thing to show how it works as a system. (3)
Pre: Yes you make different ones for different things. (2)
Post: yes, they can have different models emphasizing different things they are trying to prove. (3)
Question 6: Are there circumstance that would require a model to be changed?
Pre: Yes, if it was dangerous. (1)
Post: Yes there are always because sometimes the information changes. (2) Ð doesn't say whether the object changes or there is new information)
Post: Yes, if you are trying to figure out what it would look like in a few hundred years. (3)
Pre: You'd also have to change it on the real thing. (2)
Post: Yes, if they found out something new about the object. (3)
Pre: Yes, because if something happens and the model shows the way it was before it changed then it would be wrong. (2)
Post: Yes if more research proved the thing wrong. (3)