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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop
School/Institution: University of Nebraska
Department/Unit: Physics
City: Omaha
State: NE
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop on Modeling Instruction is for physics and physical science teachers nationwide. Modeling Workshops provide a structured inquiry approach to high school science teaching that incorporates computer technology and insights from physics education research.

Peer leader: Earl Legleiter

Modeling Instruction is completely aligned with the eight scientific practices outlined in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education. The program cultivates teachers as school experts on effective use of guided inquiry in science teaching, thereby providing schools and school districts with a valuable resource for broader reform. Program goals are fully aligned with National Science Education Standards.

The Modeling Method helps teachers (1) foster students' development of STEM skills including collaboration, communication, technology and math integration; (2) effectively integrate technology into science teaching and learning; (3) assess student understanding of science content in meaningful and authentic ways; (4) improve or refine students' understanding of physics content; (5) organize course content around scientific models; (6) develop an engaging, robust, non-lecture based teaching methodology; (7) collaborate in action research that pushes professional growth.

Program Objectives
    * To provide high school teachers with a strong rationale for instructional design and pedagogical practice.
    * To provide teachers with a unifying approach to the different levels of a physics course.
    * To build community among physics and physical science educators
    * To improve student learning of physics

Major Activities
    * Teachers begin the program with an introduction to modeling.
    * Teachers spend time working on modeling activities, first as students and then as teachers
    * Modeling methodology begins with students making conceptual models that are described and explained through multiple representations (numerical data, graphs, symbolic relationships, diagrams, maps, and linguistic interpretations).
    * Conceptual models are deployed to test/refine designs and their ability to control physical phenomena
    * Students interpret each deployment and publicly negotiate appropriateness in presentations, discussions, and Socratic questioning.

Click here to learn more about the Modeling Instruction Program. Visit to find information on Modeling Workshops nationwide and to view possible strategies on how to gain funding (if needed) to attend.
Start Date: 06/11/2012
End Date: 06/29/2012
Duration: 3 weeks M-F
Application Deadline: 04/09/2012
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $2500 registration per applicant
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Registration covers all books and teaching and learning materials for workshop
Benefit Explanation: Stipends, housing and per diem allowances, and travel expenses must be provided by the applicant or his or her school district.

Optional undergraduate and graduate credit are available at extra cost at the University of Nebraska - Omaha.
Other Prerequisites: One semester of college-level physics is highly recommended.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Judy Stucky
Science Department, Westside High School
Omaha, NE 68114
Phone: 402-343-2797
Fax: 402-343-2608