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The Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) stress that in addition to disciplinary core ideas (content), students need to engage in the practices of science and develop an understanding of the crosscutting concepts such as cause and effect, systems, and scientific modeling. In response to these reform suggestions we developed an educational tool to be used to help teach students about models and the marine food chain. Our research was the validation of the tool as a legitimate instructional device. The research reported here outlines the process and provides science teacher and science teachers educators with an alternative for teaching this topic.
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