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Name: mechanics, biology, chemistry I, middle school: 4 Modeling Workshops near Chicago
School/Institution: Wheaton Warrenville South High School
Department/Unit: Science
City: Wheaton
State: IL
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: PEER LEADERS:
Mechanics: Keith Dvorkin & Patrick Gan
     (with guest presenter Jim Stankevitz, AMTA President in 2017)
Chemistry: Phil Culcasi.
Biology II (2nd semester 9th grade content): Frank Novakowski.
Middle school: Nathan Hassman
    Most peer leaders teach at Wheaton-Warrenville South HS.

Questions about content:

REGISTRATION BEGAN ON FEB. 15, 2019. 1st year workshops fill fast!

To exemplify effective instruction, the workshops are taught using a robust pedagogy, Modeling Instruction, developed at Arizona State University. Content for a semester is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials (resources) and work through the activities alternately in the roles of student and teacher.

Chemistry Workshop Goals
The Modeling approach to chemistry is based on the particulate nature of matter.  The AMTA   webpage on chemistry 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?
First we introduce the Modeling approach to high school science instruction.  This methodology makes student thinking visible through white board presentations, Socratic questioning and peer review.  The second goal is to practice and enhance the current chemistry modeling curriculum.  Emphasis is placed on the first nine units: the simple particle through relating how much to how many particles (i.e. stoichiometry).

Biology Modeling Workshop
Students of a 9th or 10th grade biology course frequently arrive with little or no ability to create an experiment.  They can quote the steps of "The Scientific Method" but cannot communicate what they observe or suggest questions to test from those observations.  Because of this, we begin Modeling Biology by developing skills in experimental design.  Workshops in 2013 to 2015 focused on  Units 1 to 4. Ask Phil Culcasi what this summer's content is. A PRIOR BIOLOGY MODELING WORKSHOP IS PREREQUISITE.
    Unit 1: Experimental Design
    2: Classifying Life
    3: Evolution
    4: Energy

The Physics Mechanics Workshop trains physics teachers to use a model-centered, guided inquiry approach to teaching physics using particle models as the basis of instruction. Representations of particle models include mathematical, graphical, diagrammatic, verbal, and written.
   Descriptive and causal models are built to represent motion in one and two dimensions, force, working and energy storage modes, impulse and momentum transfer.

An overview is at the AMTA   webpage on curriculum storylines.

Physics Electricity and Magnetism Workshop - CANCELLED on May 1, due to low enrollment..
Teachers will review core modeling principles, discuss ways to successfully implement a modeling approach, then work through coherent model-centered materials for high school electricity and magnetism from a microscopic particle perspective to develop a deep understanding of content and how to teach it effectively. The theme that underlies all units is the concept of the field, both electric and magnetic.  These concepts will be treated:
• Electrostatic force & field
• Electrostatic potential energy & potential
• Electrodynamics in circuits
• Magnetic field & force
*      Electromagnetic induction

Click here to learn more about Modeling Instruction 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: 06/17/2019
End Date: 06/28/2019
Duration: 2 weeks. Meet all day M-F  7:30 am to 2 pm
Application Deadline: 06/01/2019
or until filled
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: In 2018, each workshop cost $300
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Professional Development/60 CPDU's
Benefit Explanation: The cost includes workshop materials and a 1-year membership in the AMTA for teachers in their 1st Modeling Workshop.

12 CEUs, 60 CPDUs.

In 2018, for all 5 workshops, 4 graduate hours of credit through the University of St. Francis were optional and cost a total of $400. Registration and payment for the optional graduate credit took place on the first day of the workshop.  Details are in the registration info.

Registration is coordinated through Fermilab's Education Office. Fermilab is conducting many workshops this summer - please be sure you select the correct Modeling Workshop at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.

For online registration, you can register and pay with a credit card at the application link URL above.

If you'd rather use the printed form from the PDF file, you can pay by check, school purchase order, or credit card.  You can either mail or fax your registration in.  Use the appropriate course title for the course name entry on the written form.

The workshops fill quickly.

Our school is Wheaton Warrenville South HS. Here's a map.

There are MANY nearby housing options. See
*  Candlewood Suites.
*  Residence Inn Marriott.
*  Hyatt Place.
*  Extended Stay America.
Other Prerequisites: Two semesters of college-level courses in the respective content (i.e., physics, chemistry, biology).

For e&m: the prerequisite is a mechanics Modeling Workshop of minimum 2 weeks duration. Similarly, for biology II, a prior biology Modeling Workshop is prerequisite.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Phil Culcasi
Science Department, Wheaton-Warrenville South High School
1993 Tiger Trail
Wheaton, IL 60189
Phone: (630) 784-7200 x8632
Fax: 630-682-2196