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Name: Electricity & magnetism Modeling Workshop in NYC
School/Institution: Columbia University
Department/Unit: Teachers College
City: New York
State: NY
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop on Modeling Instruction is for high school physics and physical science teachers nationwide. Students preparing to teach science as well as college faculty are welcome. Modeling Instruction is useful for science teaching at any level.

Location: Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W 120th St. NYC
Peer leader: Michael Crofton and Mark Schober
Content: microscopic models in electricity and magnetism
Prerequisite:  a mechanics Modeling Workshop.

Michael Crofton has taught Physics, Chemistry, and other sciences for 32 years in Minnesota and has led many Modeling Instruction Workshops (including Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, and Waves) since 1999 in Arizona and the midwest. Direct questions about content to Michael: croftmd AT

Mark Schober is Science Dept. Head and teaches Physics and Chemistry at Trinity School, New York, NY. Mark served as President of the American Modeling Teachers Association in 2011-12. Mark has also led many Modeling Instruction Workshops, including Mechanics in July, 2012 at Teachers College in NYC.

ORGANIZER: Prof. Fernand Brunschwig, Teachers College, Columbia University (AMTA Board, member-at-large). FBrunsch AT

Offered by PhysicsTeachersNYC, an affiliate of the American Modeling Teachers Association

Modeling Instruction focuses on key selected physics models and uses a process-oriented inquiry approach that is extremely effective in helping students develop independence and problem-solving ability.

The Modeling Workshop is an intensive 3-week course with these goals:
1. Educate teachers in use of a model-centered, guided-inquiry method of teaching electricity and magnetism concepts.
2. Help participants integrate computer courseware effectively into the 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.

In this course teachers will work through coherent model-centered materials for high school electricity and magnetism from a microscopic perspective to develop a deep understanding of content and how to teach it effectively.  The primary focus is on first-year physics courses that incorporate algebra and trigonometry.  In the E&M workshop there is less emphasis on why we believe that modeling is superior to conventional instruction, since we assume that teachers coming back to take a follow-up course have come to accept this as true.   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, much as they did in the 1st Modeling Workshop in Mechanics.

The course will begin with the study of electric charge and the electric fields produced by charges.  Next the course will delve into electrical energy and the concept of electric potential.  Following that the circuit unit begins with development of the surface charge model as a mechanism for setting up the electric fields that produce a steady state circuit.  After finishing the study of circuits, the course will investigate magnetic fields and magnetic forces, finishing with electromagnetic induction.

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: 07/22/2013
End Date: 08/09/2013
Duration: 3 weeks M-F
Application Deadline: 07/02/2013
or until filled
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $450. ($300 if funding comes through)
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
optional graduate credit probable - extra cost
Benefit Explanation: Housing, meals, and travel expenses must be provided by the participant or his/her school district.

Housing possibilities at Columbia Teachers College (525 West 120th St., New York, NY 10027) and nearby. (This is an informal, unofficial list generated by PhysicsTeachersNYC, for those interested in finding a place to stay so as to attend the 2013 Summer Modeling Instruction Workshops, July 22 – Aug 9.)

Dormitory-type rooms may be available at Columbia Teachers College. See URL below for details:
    The rooms have a twin bed and bathroom but no kitchen, with access to shared kitchen facilities. The website above should have rates and other information.

There are two other organizations near Teachers College that also provide student housing:
Union Theological Center:

International House:

A Youth Hostel is at 104th and Amsterdam, 16 blocks (.8 mile) from Teachers College:

Also, Columbia University has graduate and undergraduate dormitories separate from those at Teachers College; and Barnard College (which, like TC, is affiliated with Columbia) also has dormitories nearby. It seems unlikely that they would offer rooms to individuals who are not current students at Columbia or Barnard. But, as an outside chance, it may be worthwhile to research their websites.

In summer 2012, 3 optional graduate credits were available at additional cost. Credit may also be available for the summer 2013 workshops. Details about graduate credit will be posted as soon as possible.
Other Prerequisites: A mechanics Modeling Workshop of at least two weeks, and experience in implementing Modeling Instruction.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Fernand Brunschwig
New York, NY 10027