Reflection: Modeling Philosopher Grudge Match - Section 4: Exploration


The obscertainers provide a valuable experience to students of all skill sets and levels of prior knowledge: it forces them to gather indirect data using a secondary sense.  Some students will be very tactile, trying to feel where the BB encounters resistance or stops moving, while others will be much more auditory, listening for the BB to encounter the internal structure and hit and bounce off.  As a teacher, this gives me a clue to student preferred learning styles.  The differences can also lead to different inferences -- as students will share the same obscertainers at their table and reach drastically different conclusions about the internal structure.  By gathering and interpreting data to construct an explanation in the form of a pictorial model, we are accessing three of the scientific and engineering principles from the NGSS in one activity.

This gathering of indirect data is a direct link to how scientists needed to proceed to learn more about the atom.  It connects to our chemical demonstration, and previews the experiments of the coming days when students will physically model Rutherford's gold foil experiment and begin to construct a mental model of the structure of the atom based on the particles and electrostatic attraction and repulsions within the atom.

  Why Obscertainers?
  Modeling: Why Obscertainers?
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Philosopher Grudge Match

Unit 1: Atomic Structure
Lesson 3 of 10

Objective: SWBAT explain how new discoveries and technology influence scientific knowledge, including our knowledge of matter and models of the atom.

Big Idea: Exploring the understanding of the atom from Democritus to Dalton.

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four elements
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