Mystery Tubes

Today students learned that scientists often use models to learn about a natural or unknown system. A scientific model does not just look like the thing being studied; instead, it behaves like the thing being studied. A good scientific model allows us to test, use, or otherwise manipulate an artificial system in order to learn something about the real system.

For our activity, students had to make observations about what was happening in a sealed PVC ‘mystery tube’ without being able to see inside. Once they made their observations of how the real tube behaves, they worked in groups to build their own working models of the mystery tube.

This lesson was exciting, challenging and great fun to complete.

Tubos misteriosos

Hoy los estudiantes aprendieron que los científicos generalmente utilizan modelos para aprender sobre los sistemas naturales o desconocidos. Un modelo científico no sólo se parece físicamente a lo que estamos estudiando, sino que también se comporta cómo lo que estamos estudiando. Un buen modelo científico nos permite probar, usar o manipular un sistema artificial para poder aprender algo sobre el sistema real.

En la actividad, los estudiantes tuvieron que hacer observaciones sobre qué es lo que pasa dentro de un tubo de PVC sellado (el tubo misterioso). Una vez que hicieron sus observaciones sobre cómo el tubo se comporta realmente, trabajaron en equipos para construir sus propios modelos de tubo misterioso.

Esta clase fue un gran desafío y muy divertida de realizar.

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Author

Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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