Example student responses

Purposes of modelinga

Models are sense-making tools for constructing knowledge.

“To see the effect”

“Easier to see”

“Our school isn’t in Yellowstone park.”

“Easier on computers.”

“To see how it would work.”

Models are communication tools for conveying understanding or knowledge.

“Because you see the results before doing it.”

“For training.”

Models can be used to develop new understandings, by predicting new aspects of a phenomenon

“Learn which numbers work best.”

Models are used to illustrate, explain, and predict phenomena.

“It can show us and not hurt the environment.”

“We use simulation because we will know what [is] going to happen.”