Developing and Using Models with MND

Developing and Using Models with MND

Scientists and engineers use and develop models for representing ideas and explanations. Common science models include diagrams, drawings, physical replicas, mathematical representations, analogies, and computer simulations.  My NASA Data provides these modeling resources such as graphical representations (maps and animations of maps over time), mathematical representations (line plots, best fit lines, etc.), etc.

Modeling can begin in the earliest grades, with students’ models progressing from concrete “pictures” and/or physical scale models (e.g., a toy car) to more abstract representations of relevant relationships in later grades, such as a diagram representing forces on a particular object in a system. (NRC Framework, 2012, p 58)

The Water Cycle

Water Cycle

Example Questions:


  1. How is our water cycle diagram like what happens in nature?  (What makes the water cycle diagram an effective model, i.e., how does it resemble that which it represents?)
  2. How is the water cycle diagram not like what happens in nature? (What makes the water cycle diagram an insufficient model, i.e., how does it differ from that which it represents?)
  3. How could we make it more like what really happens in nature? (How could we improve the water cycle diagram as a model?)