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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop in Dallas
School/Institution: Southern Methodist University
Department/Unit: Dept of Physics, 3215 Daniel Ave
City: Dallas
State: TX
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
post-secondary physics faculty
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop is open to high school physics teachers in the USA.

PEER LEADER: Nicholas Park, of Greenhill School. Nicholas has led many Modeling Workshops in mechanics. He has a deep and comprehensive understanding of Modeling Instruction.

For information and registration, email Dr. Simon Dalley:          

The Modeling Workshop in mechanics is an intensive 3-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 computers 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,

The main objective of the mechanics 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 physical materials and experiments are simple and quite standard, already available in any reasonably equipped physics classroom.

To develop familiarity with the materials necessary to fully implement them in the classroom, we find that teachers must 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 National Research Council Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011).

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 mechanics modeling curriculum.

Modeling Instruction is a complex transformative pedagogy. Experience has shown that most teachers require at least 80 to 90 contact hours of intensive workshop to begin to implement it. A second Modeling Workshop in the next summer is highly recommended to deepen and broaden one's understanding.

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: 06/05/2017
End Date: 06/23/2017
Duration: 3 weeks (MTWThF, 9am to 4pm)
Application Deadline: 05/15/2017
or until filled
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: $0
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
Benefit Explanation: Free registration includes instructional materials and 1-year trial membership in the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA).

For housing/travel suggestions, ask Dr. Simon Dalley.
Other Prerequisites: Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college physics.
The workshop is for current high school physics teachers and those who intend to begin teaching high school physics.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Simon Dalley, PhD
Department of Physics, SMU
3215 Daniel Ave
Dallas, TX 75275-0175
Phone: (214) 768-2109
Fax: (214) 768-4095