Originally posted on February 8, 2010
Create inference cups by placing an object in a styrofoam cup. Cut 4 slits partway down the sides of the cup. Fold two opposing sides down, and then the other two sides down on top of those. Seal with packaging tape. Label all the cups with one object in them "A", all cups with the second object in them "B", etc.
The students' goal is to infer the shape of the object in the cup based on the observations they make by moving/shaking/rotating the cup. They can then hypothesize what the object is.
Objects used in making the cups: