This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.
Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
In the relative distance activity of Solar System Scale and Size, students are required to manipulate data prior to model construction. Using the results of their calculations, students measure scaled distances between objects in the solar system. Although students are not creating the model from scratch, they are required to generate the data which will be used. This last step takes the activity out of the realm of cookbook science. In the relative size activity, students are not developing their own models; rather, they are selecting which teacher provided fruits/seeds represent each planet. Since the activity does not provide any data which students can use in making their choices, the activity may be reduced to a guessing game where success is dependent on prior knowledge. To avoid this, teachers may want students to make initial selections and then refine their choices using diameter information obtained from websites or textbooks. Then, students will be able to assess the accuracy of their initial work and revise their model accordingly.