Scientists use models to understand how systems, processes, and events might play out in the real world. Scientists might develop models to simplify real-life situations and gain greater control over selected variables. Other times, scientists may develop models to add complexity and simulate how systems change if variables change. Either way, models are handy tools that you can try using yourself!
Online Videos: Use these links to educate and entertain!
- Early Elementary: Mini Versions of Cities Made Out of Legos
- Upper Elementary: This scale model of NYC is the biggest in the world
- Middle School: Watch This Guy Build a Massive Solar System in the Desert
- High School: VFX Artist Reveals the True Scale of Atoms
3D Modeling – In this activity, students will explore the steps necessary to model an object. 3D models are used during the engineering design process to communicate the design, test the design, and improve the design before constructing full-scale objects. Models can be created by 3D printers, by hand, or digitally. Students will create a model out of any household object (or otherwise!) using clay.
Edible Atoms – Splitting the atom is easy when you create it from candy and toothpicks! For this activity students can create a model of an atom and then model a molecule like water or serotonin.
Modeling Erosion – Erosion is a problem for many people, from yards washing away to roads being undermined by eroding slopes. Controlling erosion is an important step for engineers and home owners alike, and in this activity, we’ll see how some of those measures at work.