Session 1:What is modelling?
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Session 1:What is modelling? Session 2:Teaching modelling at Key Stage 3 Session 3:Extending modelling in the classroom. Modelling. Modelling. Session 1 What is modelling?. Objectives for session 1.

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Session 1:What is modelling?Session 2:Teaching modelling at Key Stage 3Session 3:Extending modelling in theclassroom




Session 1

What is modelling?

Objectives for session 1

Objectives for session 1

  • To understand the modelling requirements in the National Curriculum programme of study for ICT in Key Stage 3and the yearly teaching objectives for modelling in the Framework for teaching ICT capability: Years 7, 8 and 9

  • To examine what is meant by ‘modelling’ and exemplify the stages of the modelling process that need to be taught in Key Stage 3

Slide 1.1

Models and modelling

Models and modelling

Some definitions

  • A model is a sequence of ideas that attempts to represent a process realistically. At some stage these ideas are expressed mathematically as a set of equations.

  • Modelling is the construction of a model by mathematical analysis and the testing of proposed models in known situations.

    The British Computer Society: IT Glossary for Schools

Slide 1.2

National curriculum ict

National Curriculum ICT

Programme of study

How to use ICT to test predictions and discover patterns and relationships, by exploring, evaluating and developing models and changing their rules and values (ICT NC KS3 2c)

NC Levels

Level4: They use ICT-based models and simulations to explore patterns and relationships, and make predictions about the consequences of their decisions

Level5: They explore the effects of changing the variables in an ICT-based model

Level 6: They use ICT-based models to make predictions and vary the rules within the models

Level7: They design ICT-based models and procedures with variables to meet particular needs

Slide 1.3

Framework for teaching ict capability years 7 8 and 9

Framework for teaching ICT capability: Years 7, 8 and 9

Teaching objectives for Years 7, 8 and 9

Based on the National Curriculum programme of study for ICT at Key Stage 3, for example, for Year 9:

  • Design and create ICT-based models, testing or refining rules and procedures

  • Test hypotheses and predictions, using models, comparing their behaviour with information from other sources

Slide 1.4


What are you trying to model?

Sample scenario …

You make a fresh cup of coffee in the staffroom at break-time, using boiling water from the kettle. How long will it take before it is drinkable?Try to set up a spreadsheet to model the cooling of the coffee.

  • What assumptions need to be made? Keep them simple at first.

Slide 1.5



  • In the ‘coffee-break’ example, assume that:

    • the water has boiled in the kettle

    • the staffroom is fairly warm

    • you can't drink liquids that are too hot

    • the coffee cup is not a very good insulator

    • you drink your coffee black and without sugar

  • Which parameters need to have assigned values?

  • What values would you suggest?

Slide 1.6



Some examples might be:

  • the starting temperature of the coffee

  • the temperature at which coffee may be drunk

  • the temperature of the staffroom

  • how much the coffee cools per minute

Slide 1.7


Setting up a spreadsheet

Information about the sheet


Input values (parameters)

=B11+1 then copy down

Table of data

Slide 1.8


Reviewing the model

  • How successful is it so far?

  • Did you expect a straight-line graph?

  • What would you that predict the temperature will be after 30 minutes?

  • When will the coffee freeze?

  • Is this realistic?

Slide 1.9


Testing the model

Hand-held datalogging equipment can be used to collect live data

Slide 1.10


Testing the model

Can the temperature of the coffee fall below room temperature?

How might you adjust the model to make sure this cannot happen?

Slide 1.11



  • What are you trying to model?

  • What assumptions do you need to make?

  • What parameters will you need for your model?

  • Design your model.

  • Create your model.

  • Review your model.

  • Improve your model.

  • Test your model.

  • Modify your model.

Slide 1.12



  • What role has ICT played in this exercise?

  • What advantages are there in using ICT for modelling data?

  • What disadvantages are there in using ICT for modelling data?

  • How could the model be improved still further?

  • What issues might arise in the classroom?

  • In what other subject contexts could ICT modelling be useful?

  • What skills and techniques are required?

Slide 1.13

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