Rutherford's enlarged: A content-embedded activity to teach about nature of science
This activity can be used to help middle and secondary school students develop more informed understandings of some important aspects of nature of science in the context of teaching them about Rutherford's experiments and atomic structure.
- Atomic structure.
- Observation, inference, models, experiments.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Once the box is constructed, the instructor tasks students with determining the shape of the object hidden in the box. The method of collecting data to answer the challenge used here is to shoot ping pong balls at the box in a grid pattern to see if the balls are able to pass through or if they are deflected a certain way. Students gather data from the ping pong ball shots and are able to share this with classmates to infer the shape of the mystery object. Once all the data is collected, the instructor may provide students with overhead transparencies to show the class the shape they inferred the object to be and to tell why, based on their data, they inferred such a shape.
Further details and instructions can be found in the attached document.