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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop in Miami
School/Institution: Florida International University
Department/Unit: Physics
City: Miami
State: FL
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: Two concurrent Modeling Workshops at Florida International University are appropriate for high school physics teachers. The mechanics workshop is prerequisite to Modeling Workshops in Waves/Light and on electricity and magnetism, which alternate each summer. In summer 2014 the Waves/Light workshop will be held.

The workshops are open to high school physics teachers nationwide, but local teachers have priority, then Florida teachers, then out-of-state teachers.

Mechanics Peer Leaders:
      Jon Anderson of Minneapolis
      Chris Doscher of South Miami High School

For information, contact David Jones:

Modeling Instruction is useful for science teaching at any level, and key concepts of kinematics and Newtonian mechanics are directly relevant to all sciences. Modeling Instruction is completely aligned with the eight science practices outlined in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education.

Immersing teachers in an environment where they see the instruction from the point of view of students is key to strengthening the intertwined content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. In several years of running Modeling workshops at FIU, we have found that three weeks of full-day workshops are the minimum exposure teachers need, to feel comfortable implementing Modeling Instruction in their own classes.

Objectives of mechanics Modeling Workshop:
The main objective of the Modeling Workshop in mechanics is to acquaint teachers with all aspects of the modeling method and develop some skill in implementing it. To that end, teachers will be provided with a fairly complete set of written curriculum materials to support instruction, organized into coherent modeling cycles. (The modeling cycle is described at The physical materials and experiments in the curriculum are simple and quite standard, already available in most physics classrooms.

To develop familiarity with materials necessary to fully implement this approach in the classroom, we find that teachers must work through the activities, discussions and worksheets, alternating between student and teacher modes. Each of the nine units in the mechanics course manual includes an extensive Teacher Notes section. Throughout the course, teachers are asked to reflect on their practice and how they might apply the techniques they have learned in the course to their own classes.

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: 06/30/2014
End Date: 07/18/2014
Duration: 3 weeks (MTWThF) - Friday, July 4 (holiday: no class)
Application Deadline: 06/15/2014
tentative deadline. Until filled.
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: Free
Benefits: Stipend
Professional Development/CEU
Benefit Explanation: $100/day stipend. Funded by a NSF physics research grant, these two annual Modeling Workshops are CHEPREO Education and Outreach activities.

Campus Housing available - $35 per night (with linens)
Citizenship Requirement: U.S. Citizen
Other Prerequisites: Mechanics workshop is prerequisite to 2nd semester content workshop.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: David Jones, Physics Instructor (
Department of Physics, Florida Intl University
11200 SW 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
Phone: 305-348-4881