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Model is critical in understanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It
is the fundamental feature of STEM learning and helps in gaining in-depth knowledge of
the concept. Models play a vital role in STEM education as it represents the events,
ideas, thought, system, processes which are necessary for technical or scientific
purpose. Models help in developing explanation about natural, authentic learning,
scientific or technological phenomena. It is authentic in nature as they are tested and
researched concepts, which helps in understanding the concept profusely. There are
many reasons to use STEM models for understanding science, technology, engineering
and mathematical (STEM subjects), few of which involves understanding the
construction or structure, validation, application or authentication of the STEM models.
The model provides a qualitative understanding to the student, which also helps in
linking the STEM fundamentals.

What are the Types of STEM Models?
STEM models can be of many types which may represent graphs, design, and concept
to understand STEM subjects. But mainly there are three types of STEM models which
are as follows:

  1. Physical Model: This model includes a model which are tangible and visible in
    nature. By this model, students can easily understand the structure as well as
    they can observe the reactions. It is a representation of processes and systems.
    The physical model helps in understanding the structure and connectivity of the
    system. Some of the examples of the physical model is a solar system model
    and Earth globe; the student can easily visualize the structure and understand it.

  1. Mathematical Model: Numbers and variables play a significant role in the
    subject of Mathematics; the model helps in describing the equations between the
    set of variables. A mathematical model helps in establishing a relationship
    between numbers, for example, mathematical formulae.
  2. Conceptual Model: This model is an essential tool for communication, problem-
    solving, prediction and decision making. It helps in understanding the concept by
    drawings, graphs or charts and physical process. The study through models includes educational connotations as well as vocational. When a new concept is discussed in the class through the conceptual model, prediction and communication play a significant role. Conceptual Model includes sketches, graphs etc.

The models are necessary for gaining in-depth knowledge of any topic. The examples
of some of the models are atomic model, apple oxidation, computer-aided 3D models
and model for calculating dimension for structures.

What is the Importance of STEM Models?
● The models and modelling are primarily necessary for promoting literacy of
STEM education, as models might grab the attention of children and build
interest in learning.
● Modelling helps students in the quantitative skills of the students.
● For authentic practices or evidence-based educational activities, the concept and
structure must be modelled. It also develops understanding parallel to the STEM
● It is a well-known fact that when a person performs an activity practically, that
stays in his/her mind for an extended period whereas whatever he/she has once
read stays for a short period in mind. Models and modelling are the
contemporary methods for learning as they are the well-researched concepts
which are modelled to gain knowledge at the fullest.
● The model helps in enhancing critical thinking or thinking abilities.
● The student performs better when they engage in learning with the realistic
appearance of the system.
● The model helps as a bridge between the STEM goals and STEM education.
● The process of observing a model and then imitating the outcomes helps in
enhancing analyzing power.
● Knowledge gained by models can convert into a new innovative system.
● Each model has representational power and authentic learning, which allows
students to draw their interpretation and learn from that.
● Students develop meta-modelling knowledge as knowledge of modelling also
increase their learning of STEM subjects.

What is the process of learning by Models?
There are a few steps which should be followed for successfully understanding the
concept of the STEM model, and steps are given below:

  1. First of all, introduce the STEM model to the students and the concept depicted
    by the model. Introduction of the STEM model is the primary step to be followed
    so that one can understand the idea behind it.
  2. While carrying out the modelling task, explanation of structure or design of the
    model is necessary for understanding as to what is happening around them.
  3. Explain STEM students about the activity or working of the model, like how the
    system works and uses of it.
  4. This encourages students to observe the system, which subsequently grabs the
    attention of the students. Then they focus towards the function of the STEM
  5. Next step is retention, where a student must be able to learn or remember
    whatever he/she saw or understood as well as develops theories. It encourages
    their observational skills to be coded in the minds of the student. The student
    generally draws two types of views which are as follows:
  6. User’s View
  7. Designer’s View
  8. Further, the educator or teacher should discuss how did a particular action took
    place and why. Discussion over the model is necessary to be done for a better
  9. Later, the students should be given a chance as to what he/she understood
    through the STEM model. However, through various practices, the student
    develops a habit of understanding other concepts.
    The traditional method of learning is really different from learning through models or
    modelling. As today’s child do not want to have boring lectures sitting in the classroom,
    the traditional approach of education depends upon the teacher, if the teacher can hold
    the interest of child then only this approach is successful for educating. Whereas when
    a student practically applies his/her concept or observes the concepts on a system, they
    begin to enjoy the lessons.
    STEM Models builds an environment where students can interact with educational
    engagements. The authenticity of the models on STEM subjects shall be tested
    frameworks by the experts.
    Hence, the model-based education is meaningful for the STEM students, and the
    models are intended to increase or contribute to STEM education. Models are one of
    the reasons for linking students to the ideas, events and authentic education in STEM.

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