| Designing Models |
In MOVIE 1, Vanderbilt's Richard Lehrer presents compelling cases where primary students, even those in the first grade, become involved in doing investigations in biology that also involve designing models of complex systems in nature. He describes how one class needed to develop a model that would sustain the process by which tomatoes rot.
In a second example, Lehrer tells of the processes and problems that 5th grade students when designing a model for a pond ecology. Most important are the questions students usually raise once copying the natural system fails. What parts of nature should be included from a pond ecology, and what should be left out?
Lehrer relates the issues related to models to the design of scientific instruments, and that mathematics can be useful in thinking about the different patterns of observations that get made by different instruments measuring the same thing.