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Name: Mechanics Modeling Workshop in western PA
School/Institution: St. Vincent College
Department/Unit: 300 Fraser Purchase Rd, Latrobe, PA 15650
City: Latrobe
State: PA
Opportunity Type: Modeling Workshop
Teacher Status: Preservice
post-secondary physics faculty
Teacher Level: High School
Description: This workshop is open to all high school physics and physical science teachers worldwide. Students preparing to teach science as well as college faculty are welcome.

Modeling Instruction is useful for science teaching at any level, and key concepts of kinematics and Newtonian mechanics are directly relevant to all sciences.

Location: St. Vincent College, Sis and Herman Dupré Science Pavilion, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650

Days & time: all day MTWTh. 8 to noon on Fridays.

Peer leader: Jess Dykes, assisted by Holly McTernan.
*  Jess teaches 9th grade physics at Ridley High School, near Philadelphia; he took Modeling Workshops at Arizona State University (ASU), and he has led numerous Modeling Workshops in physics: in Pennsylvania and at ASU.  
*  Holly teaches physics and chemistry in Cleveland, Ohio. She earned a Master of Natural Science degree at Arizona State University, including several Modeling Workshops.          

For more information and/or to commit to register, please contact the Workshop Director, Ryan Tucek: . Ryan teaches high school physics in the region.

The Modeling Workshop in 1st semester physics 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 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 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 learn 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).

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: 06/16/2014
End Date: 07/03/2014
Duration: 3 weeks (MTWThF)
Application Deadline: 06/11/2014
until filled
Opportunity Website:
Application Link:
Sponsor Link:

Benefits and Requirements

Cost: commuters: $650. Out-of-towners: $1050 (includes housing & meal plan)
Benefits: Housing
Professional Development/CEU
College Transcript Credit
Benefit Explanation: Ryan Tucek has arranged housing and a meal plan for long-distance teachers; these are included in the out-of-towners' registration cost of $1050. A bargain!

FLYING: Latrobe is within commuting distance of Pittsburgh. It has an airport,   Arnold Palmer Regional Airport, 148 Aviation Lane, Latrobe, PA 15650. Spirit Airlines flies there (low-cost). 3 rental car agencies are at the airport.

OPTIONAL GRADUATE CREDIT: For $235 extra, participants can earn THREE graduate credits. A bargain!
Other Prerequisites: Prerequisite: 1 semester of college physics. The workshop is for
*  high school physics and physical science teachers and
*  those who intend to begin teaching high school physics or physical science next year.
Post-secondary physics faculty are welcome, too.

Professional Development Opportunity Contact Information

Contact: Ryan Tucek
Latrobe, PA