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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop
School/Institution: University of Illinois at Chicago
Department/Unit: Education
City: Chicago
State: IL
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop is for physics and physical science teachers who want to create student-centered, active-inquiry classrooms.  It is open to  teachers nationwide.

To exemplify effective instruction, the course is taught using a robust pedagogy, Modeling Instruction, developed at Arizona State University. Physics content is reorganized around basic models to increase the structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials (resources) and work through activities alternately in 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 and chemical 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 completely aligned with the eight science process skills of the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Standards.

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.

Participants will design and carry out a series of investigations that use Modeling Instruction. They will practice Socratic questioning techniques that will enable them to foster scientific discourse among students and that aid in assessing student learning. Each participant will keep a daily journal book of problems solved, labs done, personal notes and reflections on activities and readings, and expected student difficulties with ways to address them.

Content: mechanics
Instructor and peer leader: Jim Stankevitz
Days and time: M, T, W T, F 8AM - 3 PM

For registration questions, please email
  or phone (312) 996-8025 or (800) 453-3728

For questions about course content, email Jim Stankevitz:

Click here to learn more about the Modeling Instruction Program or visit to find information on Modeling Workshops nationwide and to view possible strategies on how to gain funding (if needed) to attend.
Start Date: 07/23/2012
End Date: 08/03/2012
Duration: Two weeks M-F 8am to 3pm
Application Deadline: 06/30/2012
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $448 for 1 graduate credit hour, $1,792 for 4 graduate credit hours
Benefits: Housing
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: Housing is available; contact Jim Stankevitz about it:

Optional follow-up meetings during the academic year.
Other Prerequisites: 2 semesters of college physics

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: James Stankevitz, UIC Adjunct Faculty & physics teacher
Wheaton, IL
Phone: (708) 383-4568