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Name: Chemistry Modeling Workshop in Mobile
School/Institution: McGill-Toolen Catholic High School
Department/Unit: Science
City: Mobile
State: AL
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: June 25: openings exist! This workshop is open to high school chemistry teachers worldwide.

Location: McGill-Toolen Catholic High School
    all day MTWThF

Peer leader: Dennis Glass. Dennis teaches chemistry at Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham, AL. He has had 30 years in the chemistry classroom and has led chemistry Modeling Workshops in Tennessee and Alabama since 2008.  Email Dennis at          

Workshop information is  here.

For more information, contact the Workshop Director, Dr. Lisa Griffin:

Workshop Goals
The Modeling Workshop in 1st semester chemistry is an intensive 2-week course with these goals:
1. educate teachers in use of a model-centered, guided inquiry method of teaching, and improve content understanding at the same time,
2. help participants integrate computer courseware effectively into the science 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.

The main objective of the 1st summer Modeling Workshop is to acquaint teachers with all aspects of the modeling method of instruction and develop some skill in implementing it. To that end, teachers are provided with a fairly complete set of written curriculum materials to support instruction organized into coherent modeling cycles (as described in Wells et al., 1995). The modeling cycle is described at

Experience has shown that most teachers require at least three weeks (or 80 to 90 contact hours in 2 weeks) of intensive workshop to begin to implement it.

The physical materials and experiments in the curriculum are simple and quite standard, already available in any reasonably equipped classroom.

To develop familiarity with the materials necessary to fully implement them in the classroom, teachers work through the activities, discussions and worksheets, alternating between student and teacher modes. Each unit in the 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.

Modeling Instruction is aligned with the eight science practices outlined in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011).

Chemistry Workshop Emphases
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 will 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 will be placed on the first nine units: the simple particle through relating how much to how many particles (i.e. stoichiometry).

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: 07/07/2014
End Date: 07/18/2014
Duration: 2 weeks (MTWThF)
Application Deadline: 07/02/2014
Please pay by June 15, if possible
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $500 (includes daily lunch, instructional materials,& AMTA membership)
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
Benefit Explanation: For housing suggestions, please contact Lisa Griffin:  

There are some partial registration scholarships based on need.  Please write Dr. Lisa Griffin at for more information.

FLYING? The Mobile Regional Airport is a major airport, with flights by
    American Airlines
    Continental Airlines
    Delta Air Lines
    U.S Airways
Other Prerequisites: Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college chemistry. The workshop is for
*  high school chemistry teachers and
*  those who intend to begin teaching high school chemistry next year.
Post-secondary chemistry faculty are welcome, too.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Dr. Lisa Griffin
Science Dept, 1501 Old Shell Road
McGill-Toolen Catholic High School
Mobile, AL 36604
Phone: 251.445.2839
Fax: (251) 433-8356