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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop & 1-week Introduction
School/Institution: Winona State University
Department/Unit: Physics
City: Winona
State: MN
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Community College science faculty
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 high school science teachers nationwide, including community college faculty and pre-service teachers. Local/regional MN and WI teachers have priority. Long-distance teachers are accepted if space is available.

Content: mechanics
Peer leader: Eric Gettrust, physics teacher at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin

To exemplify effective instruction, this 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.

Student activities are organized into modeling cycles that engage students systematically in all aspects of modeling. (The modeling cycle is described 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.

Novices are strongly encouraged to attend the second week in addition to the first.  

The first-week option is not a full-fledged Modeling Workshop, but is an introduction to modeling pedagogy. Modeling Instruction is a complex transformative pedagogy. Experience has shown that most teachers require at least three weeks (or 80 to 90 contact hours) of intensive workshop to begin to implement it.

For questions and to apply: Dr. Nathan Moore  (507) 457-5611

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: 07/08/2013
End Date: 07/19/2013
Duration: A sequence of two 1-week courses  with possible follow-up mentoring for local teachers
Application Deadline: 06/07/2013
tentative deadline
Opportunity Website:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: The "real" cost of the meeting is about $640/person-week, we're looking for grant funds to subsidize the meeting.  In 2012 the cost was: Week 1: $225. Week 2: $425
Benefits: Meals
Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: In 2012, dorm housing was available for $25/day .
Optional graduate credit.
Other Prerequisites: Two semesters of college physics are strongly recommended.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Dr. Nathan Moore, Assoc. Professor of Physics
Winona State University
Winona, MN 55987
Phone: (507) 457-5611