Modeling Instruction workshops: Summer 2015

AMTA logoFor those who have been looking for Modeling Instruction workshops, this summer there are several opportunities for you in California (as well as in-state tuition for classes at Arizona State University).

Cal State – Fresno

  • Dates: July 13-24
  • Content: mechanics; Leader: Davit Gettman
  • Content: chemistry; Leader: Brenda Royce
  • $600 registration fee, but participants receive a stipend of $200
  • Registration ends May 15, 2015
  • Contact Brenda Royce for details

Cal State – Fullerton

  • Dates: TBA
  • Content: Mechanics; Leaders: TBA
  • Contact Tara Barnhart for details

Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo

  • Dates: June 22 – July 3
  • Content: physics II; Leader: Jon Anderson, Centennial High School
  • Content: chemistry I; Leader: Brenda Royce, University High School/CSU Fresno
  • Price: Registration will be $275 for all participants outside of our local partner area (SLO & Northern Santa Barbara counties) for participants; parking and lunch will be included for ALL participants
  • Complete information here.
  • Contact Sarah Hegg for details

Corona-Norco Unified School District

  • Dates: TBA
  • Content: mechanics; Leader: Mark Hughes
  • Contact Mark Hughes for details

If none of these work for you, or you’re looking for a more exotic location to spend your summer, a complete list of Modeling Instruction workshop can be found here.

Masters of Natural Science, Arizona State University

workshop participantsASU, the “birthplace” of Modeling Instruction, offers in-state tuition to California residents. Below is more information on this program:

Would you like to earn the  Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree in physics at Arizona State University (ASU)?

IN-STATE TUITION is a new opportunity, through WICHE.  LOWER-COST!  Teachers in 15 western states can apply for in-state tuition — a considerable savings!  The deadline to apply is APRIL 1, 2015. Apply for in-state tuition at

(Mark McConnell, at a public school in Colorado, was accepted last year for in-state tuition for all summers — a huge saving!  His school is paying part. We made it easy for him by arranging his dorm housing: at $20/day for a private bedroom and kitchen privileges.)

About the MNS Degree

  • Physics and chemistry teachers say that the ASU summer MNS degree program is of great value.
  • includes Modeling Workshops: an effective implementation of STEM.
  • aligned with NGSS.
  • hands-on, minds-on, practical courses for the high school classroom.
  • Interdisciplinary courses make it useful for chemistry teachers too.
Almost 70 high school teachers have earned the MNS degree since it was founded in 2001 by Prof. David Hestenes.
  • Teachers love the courses. Teaching is satisfying because students learn more.
  • It can qualify you to teach Dual Enrollment physics courses.
  • It is similar to Finland’s Master degree for high school physics teachers, in that courses combine content with research-based pedagogy, and teachers do research. (Finland is among the top in the world, in PISA test scores of 15-year-olds, as you know.)
  • Most teachers take 3 summers, but some finish in two.  Flexible; no cohorts.
  • Courses begin on June 8, 2015. 2 sessions in summer. 2nd session ends on July 31.

Visit for info & a list of courses through 2017.

To apply to ASU for the MNS degree program, click on “ASU logistics and the application process”.  Start now, and submit it well before April 1, 2015.

Questions? ask, 480-965-8438.

Josh Clearman wrote: “This is an affordable, summer based content degree in physics or chem. It is a very good and challenging degree that is an alternative to an Ed masters. I am a grad of this program and recommend it highly.”   Josh is a Dean at Green River CC in Washington, and formerly taught high school physics in Florida.

Financial Aid for Teachers Nationwide

  1. Teachers in high poverty (usually Title I) schools nationwide can get FORGIVABLE Stafford loans. See
  2. New out-of-field physics teachers nationwide can apply for TEACH grants of up to $2000 per summer if you teach in a high-poverty school. See
  3. Ask your principal to request NCLB Title II-A funds from your school district.
  4. Teachers in small rural schools can ask their principal for funds from the Small, Rural School Achievement program (REAP) of the U.S. Department of Education.
  5. Ask a local service organization for financial help: download 2 pages of suggestions at For example: last summer, a rural physics & chemistry teacher in Louisiana spoke to his home town Rotary Club at a meeting near the end of the school year. They agreed to cover HALF of his ASU dorm housing cost, i.e, about $500.  A school board member generously contributed to his airfare.

MNS degree Tips

  • The GRE is no longer required.
  • Teachers can transfer up to TWELVE credits into the degree program!
Some teachers take PHS 530, Modeling Workshop in mechanics, BEFORE they apply for the MNS degree.  (We will also hold the Modeling Workshop in mechanical waves & sound, led by Michael Crofton of Minneapolis.)  Consider doing that, next June 8-26.
Our 1st semester Chemistry Modeling Workshop is July 6-24, and our 2nd semester Chemistry Modeling Workshop is June 15-26.

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