npsm 새물리 New Physics : Sae Mulli

pISSN 0374-4914 eISSN 2289-0041


Research Paper

New Phys.: Sae Mulli 2020; 70: 71-81

Published online January 31, 2020

Copyright © New Physics: Sae Mulli.

The Scientific Model of Elementary School Students on ‘Compass Making’ Experiments Using Algorithmic Representations

Eunju KANG, Jina KIM*

Department of Physics Education, Pusan National University, Pusan 46241, Korea


Received: October 4, 2019; Revised: November 12, 2019; Accepted: November 25, 2019

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The purpose of this study is to determine out how the compass-making experiment using algorithmic expression affects the scientific model generation of elementary school students. The subjects of the study are 45 experimental groups that applied the expression of algorithms and 45 comparative groups that were guided by teachers in general science classes. The scientific model created by the students after the compass-making experiment was divided into ‘content knowledge’ and ‘performance’ aspects. Experimental groups using algorithmic representations were higher in the levels of content knowledge of the scientific models, the performance aspects of explanation, comparativeness, and labelling than the comparison groups. Three types of scientific models appeared in groups with flow charts and were mostly included in the comparison of two situations: ‘compass’ and ‘magnetized hairpin’. However, the model created by the comparison group appeared to be subdivided into eight types, with many students expressing as non-scientific models with errors in the directional representation of the ‘magnetized hairpin’

Keywords: Algorithm representation, Scientific model, Compass making, Experiment, Elementary School Student