Professional Development Opportunity Detail Page

Previous Page  |  New Search  |  Browse All

Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop in western KY
School/Institution: Western Kentucky Universitry
Department/Unit: Physics & Astronomy
City: Bowling Green
State: KY
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
post-secondary physics faculty
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This mechanics Modeling Workshop is open to all high school physics and physical science teachers worldwide. Students preparing to teach science, as well as college faculty, are welcome.

Modeling Instruction is useful for science teaching at any level, and key concepts of kinematics and Newtonian mechanics are directly relevant to all sciences.

Days & time: all day MTWTh; 8am to noon on Fridays.
WKU campus location: Thompson Complex, Central Wing.
Peer leader: Joe Mahler            

Questions? contact the Workshop Director, Prof. Richard Gelderman:

The Modeling Workshop in 1st semester physics is an intensive 3-week course with these goals:
1. educate teachers in use of a model-centered, guided inquiry method of teaching, and improve content understanding at the same time,
2. help participants integrate computer courseware effectively into the science curriculum,
3. help teachers make better use of national resources for science education,
4. establish electronic network support and a learning community among participants,
5. strengthen local institutional support for participants as school leaders in disseminating standards-based reform in science education.

The main objective of the 1st summer Modeling Workshop is to acquaint teachers with all aspects of the modeling method of instruction and develop some skill in implementing it. To that end, teachers are provided with a fairly complete set of written curriculum materials to support instruction organized into coherent modeling cycles (as described in Wells et al., 1995). The physical materials and experiments in the curriculum are simple and quite standard, already available in any reasonably equipped classroom.

To develop familiarity with the materials necessary to fully implement them in the classroom, we find that teachers must work through the activities, discussions and worksheets, alternating between student and teacher modes. Each unit in the course manual includes an extensive Teacher Notes section. Throughout the course, teachers are asked to reflect on their practice and how they might apply the techniques they have learned in the course to their own classes.

Modeling Instruction is aligned with the eight science practices of the National Research Council's Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011).

Click here to learn more about the Modeling Instruction Program and the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) or visit to find information on Modeling Workshops nationwide and strategies to seek funding (if needed) to participate.
Start Date: 07/06/2015
End Date: 07/24/2015
Duration: 3 weeks (MTWThF)
Application Deadline: 06/12/2015
tentative; or until filled
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $775 (includes daily lunch, instructional materials, & AMTA membership)
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: Cost includes lunches, instructional materials, & membership in AMTA.

Graduate credit for an additional $770.

THREE low-cost housing options! See the application link for information.

FLYING? The campus is midway between Nashville and Louisville. Teachers who fly can arrange to be driven from the airport to the workshop; ask Dr. Gelderman for help.

Free parking on campus.
Other Prerequisites: Prerequisite: 1 semester of college physics. The workshop is for
*  high school physics and physical science teachers and
*  those who intend to begin teaching high school physics or physical science next year.
Post-secondary physics faculty are welcome, too.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Richard Gelderman
Department of Physics & Astronomy
Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY 42101-1077
Phone: 270-745-6203