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Using Models

In science, a model is a representation of an idea, an object, a process or a system. Models describe and explain phenomena that cannot be directly experienced. There are three main types of science models: physical, mathematical, and conceptual. Physical models are often the easiest to understand (the world globe is an example of a physical model). Mathematical models are also common in science (models predicting the weather, or the next solar eclipses are examples of math models). Conceptual models are often presented in the form of a diagram which shows a set of relationships (a diagram illustrating cell-division is an example of a conceptual model). Scientific knowledge is examined and communicated through the use of models. Models help scientists define, examine, revise, and improve their hypotheses, theories, and laws.

Lesson 1 (or “Day 1”) Material
Lesson 2 (or “Day 2”) Material
Lesson 3 (or “Day 3”) Material
Lesson 4 (or “Day 4”) Material


1:54 Biology – DNA model

0:58 Working Model Hand

8:11 Make a Working Model Hand Part 2

Compare Contrast and Debate


Resources Documents and Links

Special Notes and Notices

Instructor Emphasis:

  • Science & Engineering Practice: Develop and use models.
  • Cross-Cutting Concept: Systems and System Models.

Emphasize HS-LS1-7  Use a model to illustrate that cellular respiration is a chemical process whereby the bonds of food molecules and oxygen molecules are broken and the bonds in new compounds are formed resulting in a net transfer of energy.

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