Welcome to the public website of the American Modeling Teachers Association!
AMTA is a professional organization of teachers, by teachers and for teachers who utilize Modeling Instruction in their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teaching practice. Its mission is to provide professional development for science teachers in the Modeling Method of Instruction, to provide resources that support the use of Modeling Instruction in physics, chemistry, biology and middle school science classrooms, to support and enable collaboration among Modelers–to foster brilliant teaching and deep learning. 

Modeling Instruction, under continuous development since 1990 under the leadership of David Hestenes (Emeritus Professor of Physics, Arizona State University), corrects many weaknesses of the traditional lecture-demonstration method of teaching science, including fragmentation of knowledge, student passivity, and the persistence of naive beliefs about the physical world. Unlike traditional approaches to teaching science, in which students wade through an endless stream of seemingly unrelated topics, Modeling Instruction organizes each course around a small number of scientific models that form the content core of the discipline, thus making the course coherent. It applies structured inquiry techniques to the teaching of basic skills: (the Next Generation Science Standards call these Science and Engineering Practices) in mathematical modeling, proportional reasoning, quantitative estimation and technology-enabled data collection and analysis. Continue reading Welcome

The 2016 Annual AMTA Awards

Three new awards and their winners were announced at the 2016 AMTA retreat at Fermi National Accelerator Lab. The nominations for the inaugural awards were selected by the AMTA board. For future accolades, the membership will be asked to nominate candidates annually for the three categories: exceptional contribution, notable service and leadership for the organization. Continue reading The 2016 Annual AMTA Awards

100Kin10 Partners AMTA, STEMteachersNYC and AAPT Win $195,000 Grant

100Kin10 Partners AMTA, STEMteachersNYC and AAPT Win $195,000 Grant: Innovative Response to President Obama’s Computer Science for All Challenge

The American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA) announced that the organization was selected, in partnership with lead organization STEMteachersNYC, and the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), to receive a $195,000 grant from 100Kin10. The grant will fund their project to equip physical science teachers with the skills and curriculum needed to integrate computational thinking into their classrooms with leaders from the Bootstrap project. The award was one of a handful of grants awarded to expand the reach and quality of engineering and computer science education across New York State.

The project, entitled “Modeling Physics, Computational Thinking, & Bootstrap,” helps students understand basic physics concepts by incorporating computer programming as one of the key tools for building models of the physical world. Targeted to ninth grade, during which every student is expected to take science, this initiative is designed to spark students’ interest in subjects related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) for the rest of their academic careers. This initiative also combats a root cause of inequality of opportunity in pursuing STEM careers: disparate access to quality teaching in middle and high school. Continue reading 100Kin10 Partners AMTA, STEMteachersNYC and AAPT Win $195,000 Grant

AMTA Board member David Weaver receives AAPT Homer L. Dodge Citation

David Weaver, AMTA Board Member at Large, today received the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to the American Association of Physics Teachers. David’s term as Member at Large on the AMTA Board runs from 2014-2017, and we are honored to have his contribution to AMTA in addition to his exceptional work with AAPT.

Read the press release announcing David’s award here.

David Weaver receiving the Citation
Steven Ino, Past President of AAPT, presenting the Homer L. Dodge Citation to David Weaver at the AAPT National Meeting in New Orleans, LA.


Distance Learning: Electricity and Magnetism available spring 2016

There has been a lot of interest in having distance learning “second” Modeling Workshops for Modelers who really want to experience second semester conceptual model development (in physics and chemistry) using Modeling curriculum resources in a workshop setting with experienced instructors. In light of this, AMTA will offer a 45-hour Distance Learning E&M Modeling Workshop led by Matt Scheffler and David Weaver.

E & M iconThe course will run on Wednesdays from Feb. 3 through May 11, 2016, with synchronous class meetings:

  • 4:00-7:00 PM Pacific
  • 5:00-8:00 PM Mountain
  • 6:00-9:00 PM Central
  • 7:00-10:00 PM Eastern,

The course will run for 15 consecutive weeks which will require three hours per week during the aforementioned times for synchronous communications as well as at least three additional hours per week for individual and virtual group work. Regardless of whether you sign up for graduate credit or not, we expect you bring your Modeling “A” game each week and interact both in class and out of class like we all expect from our students. If you don’t have at least 6 hours per week to devote to this course, you should probably wait until you can attend a traditional face-to-face course. Continue reading Distance Learning: Electricity and Magnetism available spring 2016

Supporting Modeling Instruction around the USA and the world.