Raising scientifically literate citizens has been the main concern of the science
education community. Socioscientifc issues (SSIs) provide a context to facilitate
individuals to expand their epistemic understanding and develop scientific reasoning skills such as evidence-based argumentation and consensus building. In this
qualitative research, we examined how preservice middle school science teachers
(PSTs) embedded the nature of science (NOS) aspects via physical dynamic models
(PDM) that they developed on SSIs. We specifically focused on how PSTs scientifically explained the SSIs in their PDMs by explicitly incorporating and reflecting
on the NOS aspects. Slightly more than half of the groups succeeded in developing models with dynamic/functional feature that enabled their classmates to predict,
hypothesize, test, observe, infer, and generate an explanation of the SSI during presentations. Almost half of the PSTs could not differentiate between demonstration
and functional/dynamic models. We additionally used the VNOS-C questionnaire
to assess PSTs’ NOS understanding at the beginning and end of the semester. The
VNOS-C results showed that PSTs improved on all NOS aspects at the end of the
semester. However, among seven NOS aspects that we focused on in our study, creativity and imagination, empirical evidence, and inferential reasoning were explicitly
used in PSTs’ presentations of SSI using PDMs. Their presentations did not address
subjectivity, tentativeness, social and cultural influence, and theory and law aspects.
We recommend replicating this study in different science contexts. Integrating NOS
aspects into physical dynamic models needs to be further investigated.