Building Functional Models: Designing an Elbow
D. Penner, L. Shauble, R. Lehrer 1997 The Journal of Research in Science Teaching 34, 125-143
This study focuses on children's attempts to understand the function of their elbows through a process of model-based design. Via discussion, model building evaluation, and revision, children came to understand that not only motion, but also constraints on motion were important qualities to include in their models. In comparison to a nonmodeling peer group, modelers were largely able to ignore perceptual qualities when asked to judge the functional qualities of models. Further, they showed an understanding of the modeling process in general that was similar to that of children 3-4 years older.