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Name: mechanics: Intermediate Modeling Workshop or 5-day Intro, in VA
School/Institution: James Madison University (JMU)
Department/Unit: Content Teaching Academy (CTA)
City: Harrisonburg
State: VA
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Inservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: EIGHT concurrent 5-day summer courses (called CTA Academies) in physics, physical science, chemistry, and biology will be held on the campus of James Madison University (JMU), June 23-27.

Four of the Academies are introductions to Modeling Instruction; and the other four are intermediate/continuation/refresher Modeling Workshops. All are for high school teachers.  The two physical science academies are open to teachers of grade 8 also.

Content and peer leaders of physics Modeling Academies:
*  Introductory: the first three of the nine mechanics units: descriptive particle models in kinematics (John Makous and Tim Coulliard)
*  Intermediate: three more mechanics units, on causal particle models, Newton's laws, and modeling transfer of energy. (Joe Mahler and Mike Turner)

Detailed descriptions of the 8 Academies are at the CTA website.

Questions about registration payment? Call Bonnie Powell of JMU Conference Services at 540-568-8043, or email her:

Virginia teachers in 28 partner school districts have priority in registration; for them the academies and dorm housing are free. If space is available after a designated date in April, teachers WORLDWIDE can register.

In all 8 Modeling Academies, participants will receive professional development on content and pedagogy, be given instructional resources they can use in their classrooms, and become members of the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA).

In all 8 Modeling Academies, each participant will design and carry out several investigations that use Modeling Instruction. (Lab materials are quite standard in any reasonably equipped science classroom.) They will practice Socratic questioning techniques to foster model-centered discourse among students. They will develop skills in authentic assessment. In addition to daily work in class, each participant will keep a daily journal book of problems solved, labs done, personal notes and reactions to activities and readings, and expected student difficulties, with ways to address them. Teachers will be asked to reflect on their teaching practice and how they might apply techniques they learn in the academy to their own classes.

Goals of CTA Modeling Academies are:
1. Introduce teachers to Modeling Instruction and, concurrently, improve content knowledge. (Intermediate Modeling Academies deepen and widen one's understanding & practice of Modeling Instruction.)
2. Give participants experiences with computer technology that they can integrate into their science curriculum.
3. Establish electronic network support and a learning community,
4. Encourage participants to seek further training in Modeling Instruction.

Modeling Instruction is a research-based, model-centered, guided inquiry method of teaching. It has these core principles:
* Scientific models and their representations (not problems and facts) are the artifacts of knowledge.
* Students must actively generate and use these models in the classroom in order to learn science.

Modeling Instruction is a complex, transformative pedagogy that typically requires three weeks (or about 90 contact hours and thoughtful homework) to begin to implement successfully.

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: 06/23/2014
End Date: 06/27/2014
Duration: 5 days (& online academic year follow-up for teachers in partnering districts)
Application Deadline: 06/16/2014
tentative, or until filled
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $440 ($395 if paid by Thursday, May 15). Free to teachers in partner districts.
Benefits: Stipend
Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: The $440 registration includes daily lunch, buffet picnic dinner on Thursday, AMTA membership, & instructional resources.

Dorm cost at JMU: $150 (double) or $240 (single). Includes linens (but bring a pillow or light blanket)

(Registration and double room dorm housing at JMU for teachers in 28 partner districts are paid by a Dept of Education Math & Science Partnership grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia.)

Meal plan cost, to eat in the award-winning dining hall: $70 (a bargain!)

Optional: 3 Hours of graduate credit in education at James Madison University. Cost: $330 in-state, $440 out-of-state. Requires additional work after the 5-day Academy.

FLYING: The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is 15 miles from Harrisonburg. It has daily flights to/from Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. (Harrisonburg is 84 miles from Dulles Intl Airport.) United Express (Silver Airways) has 3 flights MTWThF, 1 on Saturdays, and 2 on Sundays.

The airport shuttle costs $30 one-way or $50 roundtrip to/from Harrisonburg. (Reserve at least 24 hours in advance at the airport website or at (540) 234-8304.)

Virginia Instructors of Physics (VIP) will issue renewal credit for follow-up sessions.

This is a collaborative effort of the DOE, VIP,  James Madison University, SpaceGrant, and the American Modeling Teachers Assn (AMTA).

Virginia school partners are:  28 school divisions (Alexandria, Alleghany County, Amherst County, Augusta County, Buena Vista, Chesapeake, Chesterfield County, Culpeper County, Fairfax County, Fauquier County, Franklin County, Harrisonburg, Henrico County, Henry County, King George County, Loudoun County, Manassas, Montgomery County, Newport News, Norfolk, Prince William County, Richmond County, Roanoke County, Rockbridge County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Spotsylvania County, and Virginia Beach) and two private schools (St. Catherine's School and Norfolk Collegiate).
Other Prerequisites: In-service teacher of the respective subject (physics, chemistry, biology, or physical/integrated science). Teachers who expect to begin teaching the subject next year are welcome also.

Minimum prerequisite for each intermediate/continuation/refresher Modeling Academy is 5 days (30 contact hours) of introduction to Modeling Instruction in the respective subject (i.e., mechanics, chemistry, biology, or physical science).

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Joe Mahler, Teacher in Residence
Department of Physics
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807