Physics First Modeling: A 3-Week Computational Modeling Development Opportunity

by Rebecca Vieyra, 1 February 2017

Are you a physics teacher who uses Modeling Instruction? Join the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), the American Modeling Teachers Association (AMTA), STEMteachersNYC, and Bootstrap’s Pyret team for a 3-week development project in New York City from July 31 – August 18, 2017, to integrate computational modeling using Bootstrap’s Pyret language in Modeling Physics First. For this project, a total of 21 teachers from around the nation and the state of New York will be joined by the 9 teachers who participated in a preliminary development workshop last year, funded by 100Kin10.

Last year’s participants used the capabilities of Pyret to help students more deeply develop conceptual models about mechanics topics, and included the creation of modules intended

to be used in the Modeling cycle as an additional representation for student thinking. For example, sample activities include using computational definitions of elements of state to more precisely define physical systems, and helping students to write, modify, and debug programs that demonstrate accurate or inaccurate motions of objects in frictionless environments. In this preliminary workshop, participants developed computational modeling resources to support students’ understandings of (1) qualitative energy, (2) constant velocity, (3) uniform acceleration, (4) inertia and force pairs, and (5) Newton’s 2nd law. Development this summer will include both revision and refinement of existing modules as well as development of additional modules.

These efforts are now supported by both 100Kin10 and the

National Science Foundation, and the preliminary efforts were recognized during CS Ed Week by the White House in December 2016.

We are seeking teachers from around the nation who have the following characteristics:

  • Experience teaching physics (8th/9th grade Physics First is preferred)
  • Completed at least one Modeling Instruction in Physics workshop
  • Implemented Modeling Instruction successfully in their physics classrooms
  • Interest in integrating computer science and physics

(No prior computer science experience is necessary.)

  • Evidence of being an innovative teacher in their instructional approach, curriculum development, and/or educational technology

Workshop participants who successfully complete their development project will receive:

  • $3,000 stipend for 3-week workshop
  • $500 stipend for academic year involvement
  • Travel, lodging, and meals (for non-local participants)


Learn More About this Project. 
See this blog entry from last September that describes both the outcomes of the preliminary 100Kin10-funded workshop last summer as well as the award of the NSF grant.

Apply for This Opportunity: COMPLETE THIS FORM
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For further information or to ask questions about this opportunity, please contact AAPT K-12 Program Manager Rebecca Vieyra at rvieyra@aapt.org .

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