A model can be a useful classroom tool when you want to help students gain experience with equipment or procedures that are not normally available. Models can be physical constructions, or they can be computer simulations that ask students to manipulate data or objects.
Models of scientific processes can clarify abstract concepts or bring large-scale operations into focus for student understanding.
Although not all students find models meaningful, use of models is an excellent way to reach experiential learners, who learn best by focusing on practical application of ideas.
Watch this video in which a scaled-down version of a refinery helps students understand the concepts and operation involved.
Visualizing Concepts Through Technology (2:43)
How does the instructor make students responsible for equipment? How does the classroom experience relate to what they will see on the computer during a site visit?