Astronomy Modeling Instruction

Dates: January 18 – May 3, 2023 (end day may change)
Meeting days: Wednesday
Meeting times: 7-10 pm EST, 6-9 pm CST, 5-8 pm MST, 4-7 pm PST
Leaders: Colleen Megowan-Romanowicz (CA) and Daniel Peluso (CA)
Costs: $850, includes a one-year AMTA membership or extension.
Optional graduate-level credits: Up to 3 credits available at $79/credit hour through the University of Pacific
Last Day to Register: 1/13/23

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The Astronomy Modeling with Exoplanets course will give teacher participants a 45-hour distance learning experience that will ground them in the use of the Modeling Method of Instruction. This course follows AMTA’s initial face-to-face Astronomy Modeling Workshop in 2019 and utilizes newly updated curriculum resources that focus on the modern-day scientific pursuit of discovering and exploring planets around other star systems: exoplanets.

First participants will develop models of space and time that enable them to locate objects and map space from the perspective of Earth. Next, they will examine motion and forces in order to develop a generalizable model of orbital motion. Then, they will construct both particle and wave models of light as a mode of energy transfer (and information transfer) via radiation. Finally, participants will develop a model of cosmic evolution, to better understand the history and fate of our universe. In this final unit of study, we will consider the probability of life elsewhere in the universe, on exoplanets, by deriving the famous SETI Drake Equation.

Participants will develop skills and knowledge in observational astronomy, image acquisition, stellar photometry, data and image analysis, and how telescopes work. In the process they will uncover  a number of basic physics  concepts: forces, measurement, motion, gravity, light, electricity & magnetism. They will access remote telescopes and collaborate with professional exoplanet astronomers in their own exoplanet observations. Some teachers may even be able to get access to physical telescopes for classroom use in exoplanet observing.

Intro to Modeling Methods Course

Dates: January 8 – March 19, 2023
Meeting days: Sunday
Meeting times: 4-7  pm EST
Leaders: Ariel Serkin and Scott Milam
Costs: $600, includes a one-year AMTA membership or extension.
Optional graduate-level credits: Up to 2 credits available at $79/credit hour through the University of Pacific

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Are you tired of students just trying to get a grade and not learning science?
Using Modeling Instruction, we will develop the pedagogical framework to

  • Get students to think hard
  • Develop equitable practices in the classroom
  • Bring joy back into teaching

In our Distance Learning course, we will delve into the Modeling Cycle, its basis in cognitive science, and the practical ways that teachers use Modeling Instruction in the science classroom. This course will sample Life Sciences and Physical Sciences in order to explore the Modeling pedagogy through multiple content lenses. By utilizing both student mode and teacher mode, participants will use readings, virtual whiteboarding, discussions, and reflections to engage in Modeling practices that will lead to improved student learning.

The Distance Learning course can be taken for graduate-level credits (for an additional fee) or you may earn a professional development certificate.

The instructors for this course are Ariel Serkin (MA) and Scott Milam (MI)

Full payment must be received by December 30, 2022.

Middle School Advanced Topics

Dates: January 17 – May 2, 2023
Meeting days: Tuedays
Meeting times: 7-10  pm EST
Leaders: George Nelson and David Bates
Costs: $850, includes a one-year AMTA membership
Optional graduate-level credits: The option of earning credit from the University of the Pacific will be available for $79 per credit hour.

See Course Description

Middle School Modeling-advanced topics- is a 15-week distance learning course for people who are new to Modeling Instruction or have already taken any Modeling workshop. This course intends for teachers to become familiar with the pedagogy and get additional strategies and curricula to implement Modeling Instruction in their classrooms. Participants will go through new modeling-aligned units while immersed in inquiry teaching practices. During these units, participants will examine the mindset of and the effect of conceptual understanding on their students.

The workshop will also address how to support teachers in continuing to implement modeling in their classrooms. These include providing participants with ways to make class discussion more engaging by helping their students learn to talk, reason and collaborate with one another.

The course will conclude with participants learning how to assess students’ conceptual learning and engaging lessons to build models through storylines. The storyline sequence in the curriculum will build a connection between Modeling Instruction and NGSS and 3-Dimensional Learning. Participants can also incorporate claims, evidence, and reasoning into their science curriculum. Finally, the workshop will focus on giving participants an understanding of the middle school modeling resources and how to “modelize” their activities.

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