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Name: light Modeling Workshop at ASU
School/Institution: Arizona State University
Department/Unit: Physics
City: Tempe
State: AZ
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: Open to teachers nationwide.

Peer leader: Bill Edelbrock
Location: Bateman Physical Sciences Center, Room H-366
8am to 3:30pm MTWTh, 8am to noon F
course title: PHS 594:

After a day of reviewing their classroom experiences using Modeling Instruction, teachers work through activities, discussions and worksheets, alternating between student and teacher modes, much as they did in the 1st Modeling Workshop in Mechanics. Throughout the course, teachers are asked to reflect on their practice and how they might apply the techniques they learn in the course to their own classes.  

Course content: three models of light: Unit 1 starts by modeling light as stream of tiny particles (rays), treating a variety of light behaviors including aspects of geometric optics. The second unit is introduced with experiments that reveal the inadequacy of light as a particle and explains light behavior as a wave.  Finally the wave model of light is discounted and a model of light as a photon is developed.  The units end with a brief introduction of how light can be used to explain the structure of the atom.
Unit 1: Particle Model of Light. In this unit we develop the model of light as stream of particles to explain a variety of light behaviors including shadows, intensity, reflection and refraction.  A variety of experiences in light are pursued including simple low cost activities, high-tech activities and computer simulations.
Unit 2: Wave Model of Light.   This unit starts with activities involving diffraction and interference. The unit activities and labs effectively transition the student from a model of light as a particle to a model of light as a wave.  A section on mechanical waves (one and two dimensional waves) is provided to support student practical comprehension of waves.
Unit 3: Photon Model of Light.  This unit uses the photoelectric effect to support both the model of light as a wave and light as a particle.  The interaction of light with matter is emphasized.   The photoelectric effect is examined to establish the model of light as a photon.  The photon model is then used to explain spectra of light emitted by gasses.  Teachers use both interactive computer simulations and specialized equipment in this unit.

For questions, please e-mail Jane Jackson:

Click here to learn more about the Modeling Instruction Program or visit to find information on ASU Modeling Workshops and to view possible strategies on how to gain funding to attend. Click here to learn more about the American Modeling Teachers Association and other Modeling Workshops nationwide.
Start Date: 06/09/2014
End Date: 06/27/2014
Duration: 3 weeks (MTWThF)
Application Deadline: 06/05/2014
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: In Feb., ASU tuition was posted at
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: 3 graduate credits optional. (ASU charges a late fee of $50 for applications after May 10 or so, and another late fee of $50 for course registrations after June 1.) Students born after 1956 must have proof of MMR immunity on file at the ASU Student Health Center before registering for a course.

Arizona teachers can apply for partial tuition scholarships. Contact Jane Jackson for details.

Out-of-state teachers for whom ASU tuition is a financial hardship are asked to contact Jane Jackson:

Low-cost housing can be arranged (private room, shared bath in furnished apartment): expected ~$25/day. Beautiful low-cost family housing is available in upscale Scottsdale, 7 miles north of campus. Contact Jane Jackson.
Other Prerequisites: A Modeling Workshop in mechanics.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Jane Jackson
Department of Physics, Arizona State University
Box 871504
Tempe, AZ 85287-1504
Phone: 480-965-8438