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Black Box
In this activity students observe what happens when various amounts of water are poured into a black box and propose models to explain their observations. When water is poured into the funnel, students observe that sometimes water emerges through the outlet tube and sometimes it does not. Also, the amount of water that does emerge is not constant. Students share their initial ideas with others and offer criticism to peers. They prepare and present a poster of their final, revised models. The activity involves data collection, pattern recognition, and model building. Supplemental student activities, such as a pattern recognition activity and a model reading, are used to provide explicit instruction about individual components of model building and assessment. The site includes links to instructional notes, student activities, assessment, and student work examples.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lab activity
    • Guide for instructor
Subject:
  • Educational theory and practice
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2002 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-671
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of science
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
Related resources:
This resource is part of 'Earth-Moon-Sun Dynamics'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Wisconsin Center for Education Research, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison