The Workshops

Workshop Weeks: July 23-27 and July 30 – August 3 2017

  • Most disciplines are limited to 12 participants/week, average 6:1 student to instructor ratio.
  • Select one or two intensive 40-hour week-long sessions in chemistry or physics.  Additional workshops in electricity (week 1) and magnetism (week 2)
  • Workshop fees include continental breakfast & lunch.
  • N.B.: The Biology workshops have been cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.


    Workshop leaders:

  • Thomas Pfeiffer has over 14 years modeling instruction experience at Bellows Free Academy, Vermont
  • Matt Watson:  After teaching high school physics via traditional methods for 9 years, a 2002 Modeling Instruction Workshop transformed his classroom. Since then has deployed Modeling Instruction in both 1st year and 2nd year high school physics courses at all levels at Great Valley High School Physics Teacher.
  • Director: Jamie Vesenka, Professor of Physics, University of New England, has 18 years modeling college level instruction experience and will teach week 1 electricity and week 2 magnetism workshop.

The workshops thoroughly address all aspects of middle & high school teaching, including the integration of teaching methods with course content for biology, chemistry and physics classrooms. Special emphasis will be placed on modeling conceptual development and integrating technology appropriate for the middle and high school. The two week electricity and magnetism workshop cover charge, electrical force, potential, energy, circuits, magnetism and induction.

All week 1 participants in chemistry and physics will be introduced to the Modeling Method as a systematic approach to the design of curriculum and instruction. Participants will be instructed on computer hardware and software selection, techniques for laboratory data collection and analysis, and internet use to help them become experts on the best uses of technology in education. Participants will be given techniques to deliver in-service training and help in strengthening local teacher alliances.  Week 2 participants must have received at least one week of modeling instruction previously as they are more content heavy and require modeling instruction foundation.

Biology Two Week Workshop Description



Chemistry Two Week Workshop Description

Content from first semester high school chemistry or introductory middle school physical science is organized around seven basic models to simplify structural coherence:

Week one
1. Physical properties of Matter
2. Energy and States of Matter I: Particles in Motion
3. Energy and States of Matter II: Sticky Particles
4. Describing Substances

Week two
5. Counting Particles Too Small to See
6. Particles With Internal Structure
7. Chemical Equations
8. Stoichiometry

Physics Two Week Workshop Description

Content from first semester high school physics or introductory middle school physical science is organized around seven basic models to simplify structural coherence:

Week one
1. Measurement and Graphing with an emphasis on linearization.
2. Constant Velocity Particle Model
3. Constant Acceleration Particle Model
4. Free Particle Model (∑F=0)
5. 2-D Particle Model (Projectile Motion)

Week two
6. Constant force Particle Model (∑F=ma)
7. Energy Model
8. Central Net Force Particle Model(Circular Motion)
9. Impulsive Force Particle Model (Momentum)

E&M Two Week Workshop Description

Content from first semester high school physics on electricity and circuits:

Week one
1. Electrical properties of matter
2. Electric force and field
3. Electric potential and energy
4. DC electrical circuits

Week one
5. Magnetism from permanent magnets.
6. Magnetism from current carrying wires.
7. Magnetic force.
8. Magnetic induction.


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