Scientific Models

Scientific models are developed as a means of helping people understand scientific concepts and representing them in a visual medium. Models are used to make predictions. They may include physical and digital models, which can be refined over time by the inclusion of new scientific knowledge.

Students recognise that many scientific models have limitations and are modified as further evidence comes to light. For this reason, scientific models are continually evaluated for accuracy and applicability by the global scientific community through the process of peer review. Students construct and evaluate their own models, which are generated through practical investigation.

Investigating Science Syllabus Stage 6 p.41

 
 

Models to Inform Understanding

WHAT Is a scientific model?

● examine the types of models that may be used in science, including:

– diagrams
– physical replicas
– mathematical representations
– analogies
– computer simulations

mODELS - thE cELL MODEL

 

 

pHYSICAL rEPLICA'S - DNA

 

 

MATHEMATICAL RELATIONSHIPS - thE PERIOD OF A PENDULUM

 

Computer simulations - The illustris project - simulating the universe

The Illustris project is a large cosmological simulation of galaxy formation, completed in late 2013, using a state of the art numerical code and a comprehensive physical model. Building on several years of effort by members of the collaboration, the Illustris simulation represents an unprecedented combination of high resolution, total volume, and physical fidelity.

Source: Illustris Website

 

What makes Scientific Models useful?

● examine the use of scientific models, including but not limited to:

– epidemic models
– models of the Universe
– atomic models
– climate models

Throw out your history books! Australia's Chief Scientist is correcting the record.

Click on the image of Florence Nightingale to visit the ABC page.

Click on the image of Florence Nightingale to visit the ABC page.

EPIDEMIC MODELS

Florence Nightingale

"Professor Alan Finkel says Florence Nightingale, The Lady with the Lamp, ought to be known as the Lady with the Logarithm — since she she saved far more lives by her grasp of numbers than by her gift for nursing.

He pays tribute to our patron saint of mathematics by drawing out four lessons from her story."

 

 

ATOMIC MODELS

 

outline how models have been used to illustrate, simplify and represent scientific concepts and processes

 

explain how scientific models are used to make predictions that are difficult to analyse in the real world due to time frames, size and cost

Visualising an Ocean Asteroid Impact

 

assess the effectiveness of models at facilitating the understanding of scientific processes, structures and mathematical relationships through the use of:

– diagrams
– physical replicas
– mathematical representations
– analogies
– computer simulations

 

evaluate how scientific models draw on a growing body of data from a wide range of disciplines and technologies to refine predictions and test new hypotheses

 

Types of Models

When should a particular model be used?

explain why new evidence can challenge the use of existing scientific models and may result in those models being contested and refined or replaced, including but not limited to the development of:

– epidemic models
– models of the Universe
– atomic models
– climate models

 

compare the limitations of simple and complex scientific models

 

Constructing a Model

how can a model be constructed to simplify understanding of a scientific concept 

investigate a scientific concept or process that can be represented using a model, by:
– planning a model with reference to the scientific literature
– constructing a model using appropriate resources to represent the selected scientific concept
– demonstrating how the model could be used to make a prediction
– presenting and evaluating the model through peer feedback