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Name: Chemistry Modeling Workshop near Philadelphia
School/Institution: Ridley High School
Department/Unit: Science
City: Folsom
State: PA
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop is for high school chemistry and biology teachers nationwide who want to create robust, student-centered, active-inquiry classrooms.

Peer leader: Larry Dukerich

Please contact Ray Howanski if you have questions or want to apply.  610-534-1900    
To exemplify effective instruction, this workshop is taught using a robust pedagogy, Modeling Instruction, developed at Arizona State University. Content of first semester chemistry is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with 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 and AAAS Project 2061. Modeling Instruction is aligned with the eight scientific practices outlined in the National Research Council's 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.

Workshop Goals

The Modeling approach to chemistry is based on the particulate nature of matter.  The Arizona State Modeling website ( asks three fundamental questions about matter:
   1. How do we view matter?
   2. How does it behave?
   3.What is the role of energy in the changes we observe?
The goals of this workshop are twofold.  First we will introduce and review the Modeling approach to high school science instruction.  This methodology aims to make student thinking visible through whiteboard presentations, Socratic questioning and peer review.  The second goal is to deepen the chemistry knowledge of chemistry and biology teachers and relate it to high school biology, especially in the PCB sequence.  

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: 07/30/2012
End Date: 08/10/2012
Duration: Two weeks M-F
Application Deadline: 07/01/2012
Opportunity Website:
Application Link: forthcoming
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $500
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
Other Prerequisites: Inservice or pre-service chemistry, biology, or general science teacher.
One semester of college-level course in chemistry.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Ray Howanski
Science Department, Ridley High School
901 Morton Ave
Folsom, PA 19033
Phone: 610-534-1900