Modeling allows us to make our own sense of what and why something is happening. Conceptual models are shared and explicit representations or analogies of phenomena and are used by scientists to help them understand the world around us. Models are used in all areas of science and offer external versions of mental concepts. Models are not a perfect representation; they are a simplified version of a system that highlights certain areas while ignoring others.
Electrical energy is a major part of modern day life, but is so often misunderstood. We’ve all sat during a thunderstorm and wondered at the deadly power of lightning. We all know not to touch sockets with wet hands, but do we understand why our hands should be dry? Electricity controls many major functions of our bodies, especially in the brain and nervous system, and is also an extremely versatile resource used in homes and businesses all over the world. The following activities will help students understand the foundation of electrical circuits and how electricity affects our lives every day.
It is important that we don’t view our students as empty vessels or blank slates when they come into our classrooms. Students are full of their own ideas and theories about the world. Some of these are correct and some of them don’t agree with current evidence and agreed thinking within a subject. Often as educators, we can fail to appreciate the wide and varied experiences our students have had and the effect this can have on how they think the universe works. Students have misconceptions in all subjects, but this is especially true in Science.