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Name: Chemistry Modeling Workshop in New Orleans
School/Institution: Core Element: Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative
City: New Orleans
State: LA
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
Teacher Level: High School
Description: [March 2015: this workshop is cancelled. Phil Root will lead the physical science Modeling Workshop, instead.]

This workshop is for high school chemistry teachers who want to create student-centered, active-inquiry classrooms. The workshop will occur in New Orleans and is open to teachers worldwide.

Peer leader: Phil Root, an experienced chemistry Modeling Workshop leader from Phoenix, Arizona.

For questions, please email
or call   504-274-3611

To exemplify effective instruction, this workshop is taught using a robust pedagogy, Modeling Instruction, developed at Arizona State University. Content of first semester chemistry 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.

The Modeling Method is introduced as a systematic approach to the design of curriculum and instruction. The name Modeling Instruction expresses an emphasis on making and using conceptual models of physical phenomena as central to learning and doing science. Using models and modeling in science education is recommended by NSES, AAAS Project 2061, state K-12 Science Standards, and the NRC "Framework for K-12 Science Education", which is the basis for the Next Generation Science Standards.

Student activities are organized into modeling cycles that engage students systematically in all aspects of modeling. (The modeling cycle is described at The teacher guides students through each modeling cycle, with an eye to improving the quality of student discourse by insisting on accurate use of scientific terms, on clarity and cogency of expressed ideas and arguments. After a few cycles, students gain skill at conducting scientific investigations without excessive prompting from the teacher. The main job of the teacher is then to supply them with more powerful modeling tools. Lecturing is restricted to scaffolding new concepts and principles on a need basis.

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

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 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 8 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: 07/06/2015
End Date: 07/17/2015
Duration: Two week course meeting M-F with follow-up mentoring for local teachers
Application Deadline: 01/31/2015
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: In 2013, the workshop was free to local public school teachers, $300 for all others.
Benefits: Professional Development/CEU
Benefit Explanation: A stipend may be available for local teachers.

Low-cost housing may be available; reserve early. A housing list is at files/NewOrleans-tracLodging2010.pdf

For questions, please email
or call   504-274-3611

REGISTRATION will be online beginning in April.
Other Prerequisites: One semester of college-level chemistry.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Andrea Walker, STEM Coordinator
Core Element, Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative
P O Box 6123
Metairie, LA 70009
Phone: 504-274-3611