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Modeling the Living World

Scientists use models to explain, study and predict natural phenomenon and processes as part of their scientific practice. At MSU and elsewhere, many undergraduate science courses engage students in this practice through model-based instruction. This project asks what are the characteristics of student's knowledge and skills elicited when they construct models. To answer this question, we interview students as they model different scenarios and then analyze the recordings and student models to understand the characteristics involved in the modeling process. The results of this research will inform an understanding of the different ways students approach modeling and may provide insights for the future of model-based instruction.