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Professional Development Opportunity Detail Page

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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop
School/Institution: Eastern Michigan University
Department/Unit: Physics
City: Ypsilanti
State: MI
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop is for physics and physical science teachers nationwide who want to create student-centered, active-inquiry classrooms.  

Peer leaders: Laura Ritter of Troy High School
                    Bryan Battaglia of Utica High School

Questions on content: or 734-649-7039
Other questions: Prof. Beth Kubitskey:

To exemplify effective instruction, the workshop is taught using a robust pedagogy, Modeling Instruction, developed at Arizona State University. Physics content is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials (resources) and work through activities alternately in the roles of student and teacher.

The Modeling Method is introduced as a systematic approach to the design of curriculum and instruction. The name Modeling Instruction expresses an emphasis on making and using conceptual models of physical phenomena as central to learning and doing science. Using models and modeling in science education is recommended by NSES, AAAS Project 2061 and state K-12 science standards. Modeling Instruction is aligned with all 8 scientific practices of the National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011).

Student activities are organized into modeling cycles that engage students systematically in all aspects of modeling. (Specifics of the modeling cycle are at .) The teacher guides students through each modeling cycle, with an eye to improving the quality of student discourse by insisting on accurate use of scientific terms, on clarity and cogency of expressed ideas and arguments. After a few cycles, students gain skill at conducting scientific investigations without excessive prompting from the teacher. The main job of the teacher is then to supply them with more powerful modeling tools. Lecturing is restricted to scaffolding new concepts and principles on a need basis.

The modeling cycle is described at Visit to find information on Modeling Workshops nationwide and to view possible strategies on how to gain funding, if needed, to attend.
Start Date: 07/16/2012
End Date: 08/03/2012
Duration: 3 weeks. MWF 8:30am - 3:30pm. TTh 1-6pm
Application Deadline: 07/01/2012
Opportunity Website:
Application Link: forthcoming
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: forthcoming
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: Participants can get 3 graduate credits for an additional cost.
The workshop is offered in cooperation with Washtenaw Math-Science Center in Ann Arbor.
Other Prerequisites: Two semesters of college-level physics

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Prof. Beth Kubitskey
Department of Physics
Eastern Michigan University
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: (734) 487-8798