The Department of Physics at Arizona State University offers a STEM program of courses specifically designed to meet professional development needs of high school and post-secondary physics, chemistry, and physical science teachers. Teachers can enroll in these courses to prepare to become physics- or chemistry-certified, earn credit towards re-certification, become more effective, progress toward becoming qualified faculty by the Higher Learning Commission, pursue an interdisciplinary Master of Natural Science degree (MNS), or as electives in Education degrees. For some courses, prerequisites are two semesters of trigonometry-based college physics and an introductory calculus course (brief calculus is sufficient). Most courses are held during the summer. Depending on teacher interest, they may be offered at other times. A Modeling Instruction course is offered each spring semester (and each fall semester, starting in 2016).
Executive summary. view. download
Modeling Instruction & MNS programs brochure.
Flier of 2022 summer courses.
Teachers value Modeling Workshops:
What is Modeling Instruction? an overview. View. Download
Physics First professional development in Modeling Instruction. View Download.
Want to donate to our ASU Foundation "Improving Physics and Chemistry
Teachers" scholarship fund? Click
Or donate to our scholarship endowment fund, and thus contribute to scholarships in perpetuity. Since November 2016, every donation to our endowment fund is matched, 1-for-1, by Jane Jackson. Double your investment! Email email@example.com. Linda set up this account; she's the Development Director for Natural Sciences!
Modeling Workshops nationwide are listed at the American
Modeling Teachers Association website: http://modelinginstruction.org. Each summer, about 50 are held, in typically 20 states.
Would you like to host (or attend) a Modeling Workshop? Download this 2-page "how to".
All courses are content-intensive. Courses are in three categories:
Category I. Physics pedagogy. Core courses on physics teaching (PHS 530 & 531) are open to anyone seeking to improve their practice of teaching physics; they are required for those seeking the MNS degree. These courses provide thorough grounding in research-based physics pedagogy integrated with content in full accord with the National Science Education Standards(NSES) and use of computer technology in physics teaching. Although subject to faculty oversight, most courses in Category I and some in Category II are taught by teams of outstanding in-service physics teachers. This conforms to the "peer teaching principle" espoused by the NSES, which holds that professionals are best taught by peers who are exceptionally well-versed in the objectives, methods and problems of the profession. (Note: Teachers demanded a similar set of two core courses in Modeling Chemistry: they are Chem I and Chem II Modeling Workshops.)
Category II. Interdisciplinary science. Courses in this category:
Category III. Contemporary physics. These courses are taught by research
faculty who work in areas addressed by the courses. The listed courses span
the range of major research areas in contemporary physics. They introduce
teachers to ideas, methods and results of 20th century physics that are ordinarily
taught only to physics majors in advanced undergraduate and graduate programs.
The courses bring physics teachers into extended contact with research faculty
to share the excitement of scientific research. They provide unprecedented
opportunities for researchers to explain their fields to highly-motivated,
well-informed teachers and thereby influence their students.
Leadership Workshop The one-day-per-week leadership workshop is directed by experienced Teaching Associates. The main purpose is to build a cohesive peer learning community focused on action research. Teachers collectively consider how to expand what they have learned in courses through science interest groups, and how to use it in extra-curricular projects and science clubs.
Course design. The ultimate target for the MNS program is not the teachers themselves but their students. Therefore each course addresses the subject at a level which prepares teachers to entice and inform their students. The teachers are engaged in activities and projects that they can set up for their students. As the standard high school curriculum does not include "contemporary physics," teachers need the material developed in a modular form that can be used for extracurricular projects and interest groups or in advanced enrichment courses for seniors. In the long run, this serves to prepare teachers for sorely needed content reform of high school science. Such reform, as advocated by AAAS Project 2061, will never be achieved without preparing the teachers.
Teaching Guidelines. Faculty who teach the MNS courses agree to support the objectives of the project and adhere to the following teaching guidelines.
Two published articles on the ASU graduate program are:
Jane Jackson: ASU's Preparation of Out-of-Field Physics Teachers, Journal of Physics Teacher Education Online (2010)
D. Hestenes et al: A Graduate Program for High School Physics & Physical Science Teachers, Am. J. Phys.79: 971-979 ( 2011)
Doctoral program. ASU offers a doctorate in science education through a Learning, Literacies, and Technologies Program, an interdisciplinary program between the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Education. Thus, talented teachers in the MNS program have an option to continue with doctoral research in science education. Visit this URL: education.asu.edu/programs/graduate .
Transfer to other masters degrees. Teachers in the ASU-College of Education
M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction: Accomplished Teaching (same URL as above) can take up
to five of our courses as science content electives. Teachers in the NAU MAST
degree can transfer up to 12 credits of our courses. Teachers in the U of
A Teachers in Industry masters degree program are encouraged to take
our courses in spring and fall semesters.
Schedule of Courses
First-semester courses in Category I (Modeling Workshops) are held each summer, as is the Leadership Workshop. Courses in Categories II and III are rotated; each course is held every two to five years, according to teacher interest and faculty availability.
Course schedule through 2023 (updated in August 2021): view .pdf
Below is the schedule of MNS courses to be held in summer 2022.
Modeling Instruction courses in summer
2022 (3 credits each.)
Possible course in June
Advanced courses: June 27 to July 28, 2022 (five weeks)
You can take up to 6 credits in 5 weeks, per AZ Board of Regents.
Important information about the Summer Program for Teachers
We strongly recommend that teachers take a Modeling Workshop before our other
courses, as Modeling Instruction is the foundation of our program. Most teachers
find the modeling approach far superior to traditional instruction. It's adaptable
to all sciences.
Most teachers take Modeling Workshops as NON-degree graduate students. Tuition-paying participants have top priority, of course, because we must pay the instructors from tuition revenue. 2nd priority is Arizona teachers who register for non-credit (CEUs). 3rd priority is non-Arizona teachers who register for non-credit (CEUs).
Apply for TUITION SCHOLARSHIPS, or reserve a seat for CEUs (non-credit).
1)ARIZONA high school teachers (in-service and pre-service) can apply after January each year, for a summer partial
Apply online for a tuition scholarship at (copy/paste into your browser): https://physics.asu.edu/admissions/mns-admissions/financial-support
[We are thankful that in summer 2021, Salt River Project continued to give program support. In summer 2020, Core Construction and First Fidelity Bank (Scottsdale branch) contributed for at-home lab supplies & data collection probes, and ON Semiconductor Foundation gave funds for partial tuition scholarships that we awarded in summer 2021.
Partial tuition scholarships in summer 2019 were due primarily to donations from Alliance Bank of Arizona, ON Semiconductor in Phoenix, Core Construction, and WebPT in Phoenix.
In recent years, these other companies have contributed to scholarships: The Boeing Company in Mesa, Air Products (now Versum Materials) in Tempe, the Arizona Technology Council, and individuals, many of whom are teachers who previously benefited from the program and gave back. Salt River Project has given major support each summer; and Alliance Bank of Arizona and West Pharmaceutical Services in Tempe gave program support for fall Modeling Workshops.]
2) Teachers WORLDWIDE can apply to reserve a seat for non-credit ($400 registration for AZ teachers; $650 for non-AZ teachers, all on a space-available
basis.). Apply online after January at (copy/paste into your web browser):
You need NOT apply to ASU, so the process is easy & quick. Also, alert Jane Jackson that you have applied, because she does not see the online applications unless she asks ASU physics dept. staff for them. E-mail Jane.Jackson@asu.edu
3) New in 2021! Full-tuition scholarships for Arizona teachers who want to prepare to qualify to teach dual enrollment. Apply to the AZ Teachers Academy. Must submit a FAFSA; 1st come first served, so don't delay applying.
4) Arizona teachers can apply for $2000 scholarships from the ADE each year in 2021 & spring semester 2022 to prepare to pass the NES physics or chemistry test, or to work toward becoming qualified to teach dual enrollment physics or chemistry. Apply at http://www.azed.gov/titlei/pd-pilot-program . For information: view or pdf (The need/shortage of physics & chem teachers, & dual enrollment teachers of physics & chem, is huge! See the modeling home page, at the bottom. Only public school teachers qualify, & teachers must teach in an AZ public school for 3 years after completing the coursework that they decide upon, for each $2000 scholarship that they get. Up to $6000 for 3 scholarships! Spring 2022 is the LAST time to apply for a $2000 scholarship, so don't delay. This is a grassroots effort by physics teachers who convinced the AZ legislature to appropriate funds. Teachers in rural counties have priority, but the appropriation is sufficient for teachers everywhere in Arizona. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 480-314-1522 for questions & help.)
5) NEW source of funding for teachers nationwide in 2021: Professional learning is an allowable expense for school districts to increase learning opportunities for students, in the 3 Covid-19 stimulus/recovery acts. Modeling Instruction courses are an ideal use of these funds, which can be used for the SAME types of professional learning as district Title II funds & Title I funds. Your state department of education has a website; e.g. for Arizona: http://azed.gov/CARES/ESSER
ASU logistics and the application process: How to apply to ASU and register for summer courses as a nondegree graduate student. How to apply to the MNS degree progam.(Note: We are at the Tempe campus, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.)
To search online for any ASU course, visit this URL: http://www.asu.edu/classes
Housing opportunities, tips on what to bring
to ASU, and how to get around in Tempe: Download or view this info (updated in June 2018).
* Dorm on Tempe campus: In summer 2019, a private bedroom and bath shared with 1 other teacher cost about $800 for 3 weeks, + $25 linens (optional). The dorm was Tooker House; it is brand-new and across the street from the physics building; you can cook down the hall. Contact email@example.com to reserve a room. As of 2020, the last day to stay in a dorm each summer is July 15.
* Family housing in Scottsdale, or off-campus housing in Tempe.
HOW TO GET FUNDING:
1) Download a sample
grant proposal to help you obtain funding. (Updated in 2019)
2) Seek financial support from a community service organization. (Rotary, Kiwanis, Soroptimists, Elks, etc.) Some meet virtually during the pandemic in 2020. Give a talk remotely!
3) Ask parents to donate. Download this sample letter.
4) A list of funding sources for teachers, from foundations and community service organizations.
5) Apply for a $2000 scholarship at the ADE, for professional development to add physics, chemistry, or physical science to your certification, or to work toward qualifying to teach dual enrollment physics, chemistry, or math. See above. Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
6) ASU financial aid for MNS DEGREE candidates who teach in "low income" schools. (Forgivable Wm Ford Direct loans, TEACH grants)
7) MNS DEGREE teachers in 15 western states can apply for 150% of in-state tuition. See the ASU Department of Physics MNS webpage for the WRGP application form. The deadline is April 1, each year. The URL is physics.asu.edu ; click on "future students", then on MNS degree.
TUITION/REGISTRATION COSTS for graduate credit:
The AZ Board of Regents decides on summer tuition in late February. Summer tuition is much LESS than academic year tuition.
ASU tuition in summer 2021 & 2020 was $651 per semester hour ($1139 out-of-state). Max. fees were $282.
ASU tuition in summer 2019 was $619 per semester hour ($1083 out-of-state). Max. fees were $212. For 3-wk 3-crs, tuition/fees were $1967.
ASU tuition in summer 2018 was $609 per semester hour ($1067 out-of-state). Fees were $204 for 12 weeks, but some were prorated, so tuition/fees for a 3-week 3-credit grad course were $1955 (and about $1330 for 2 credits).
ASU tuition in summer 2012 was $539 per semester hour ($944 out-of-state). Fees were $139 for 12 weeks.
ASU tuition in summers 2010 & 2011 was $509 per semester hour ($849 out-of-state).
ASU tuition in summer 2009 was $485 per semester hour ($806 out-of-state).
ASU summer tuition in 2008 was $326 per semester hour ($571 out of state). Fees were $25 per summer session.
To find ASU tuition and fees for any year and any category, visit this URL: students.asu.edu/tuitionandfees , and click on "Tuition and fees schedules", etc.
To search for any ASU course online, visit this URL: www.asu.edu/classes , or https://webapp4.asu.edu/catalog/classlist
ASU Requirements for the Master of Natural Science Degree
Master of Natural Science in Physics for in-service teachersThe MNS program in physics for teachers started in 2001, and 93 teachers earned this degree from 2002 to 2021.
As of 2013, the GRE General test is NOT required. Also, up to 12 semester
hours can be transferred into the program.The 30 credits must be earned in a 6-year period -- no longer.
As of summer 2014, teachers in 15 western states can apply for in-state tuition (increased to 150% of in-state tuition, as of fall 2019). See the ASU Department of Physics MNS financial assistance webpage for the WRGP application form. The deadline each year is April 1. The URL is physics.asu.edu/admissions/mns-admissions/financial-support .
Courses in physics and physical sciences for teachers
Category I: Physics Teaching Methods with intensive content
Category II: Integrated Science
ASU course descriptions
PHS 505/CHM 594: Energy and the Environment (3).
For high school and post-secondary teachers of all
sciences and math. Current problems in energy resources, production, consumption,
and conservation. Prerequisites: one semester each of college chemistry and physics.
Math teachers need a strong science background.
Download syllabus in pdf.
PHS 530/PHY 480: Methods of Teaching Physics I.
(3) The 1st summer Modeling Workshop. An inquiry approach
to high school and post-secondary general physics teaching that incorporates
computer technology and insights from physics education research. Emphasis
is placed on basic models and modeling in mechanics, developing skills in
scientific discourse and presentation and assessment of student learning.
Prerequisite: physics or chemistry teacher or instructor approval, or a minimum of 2 semesters trigonometry-based college physics
Download syllabus for 2021, or view 2020 vs . Download syllabus for live online version in 2021, or view syllabus for online version in 2021. Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.
PHS 531: Methods of Teaching Physics II. (3 ) This
Modeling Workshop expands the modeling techniques
learned in PHS 530 to microscopic models of electricity and magnetism. Greatly influenced by the work of Sherwood and Chabay. Prerequisite:
PHS 530/PHY 480 or instructor approval.
Download syllabus: .pdf or view. Daily calendar for 2017: .pdf or view
PHS 534/PHY 494: Methods of Physical Science Teaching
I. (3) Physical science and mathematics content integrated
into coherent instructional units. Design of curriculum and conduct of instruction
for physical science courses in high school or middle school. Instruction with
collaborative inquiry methods. (Sometimes cross linked with MTE 598.)
A sequel to this course was piloted as PHS594 in July 2007, and held every summer
thereafter until ESEA funding ended in 2011.
Download course description. or view
Alignment of PHS534 with AZ Science Standards (grade 8, high school before 2020). Download. View
ADE letter: PHS534 is accepted by the ADE as a content course for general science certification. Download.
Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.
PHS 540/CHM 540: Integrated
Physics and Chemistry (3) Emphasis on coordinating concepts
of physics and chemistry with a quantum mechanical description of atomic structure
and bonding. Prerequisite: CHM 480 or PHY 480 (PHS 530) or instructor approval;
physics or chemistry teacher in high school or community college.
Download syllabus in pdf.
PHS 542: Integrated Mathematics and Physics (3)
Mathematical models and modeling as an integrating theme for
mathematics and physics.
Download 2018 draft syllabus in .pdf. View. Original syllabus in 2001.
PHS 542 theory and homework in 2018.
Picture of David Hestenes and Geoff Clarion in PHS542 in 2018.
PHS 550: Physics and Astronomy (3) Astronomy curricula and projects for high school and community college,
with emphasis on the role of physics in astronomy. Prerequisite: two semesters
college physics, knowledge of college algebra.
Download syllabus. View
PHS 556: Astrophysics (3) Structure
and evolution of stars, galaxies and the universe. For high school and community
Recommended background: a college course in astronomy, knowledge of introductory calculus
Download syllabus in pdf.
PHS 560/CHM 560: Matter and Light (3) Interactions of light with matter. Lasers and spectroscopy.
Prerequisite: two semesters college physics and one semester calculus.
Download syllabus. View. Read comments from a physics teacher who took the course in 2001.
PHS 564: Light and Electron Optics (3) Principles and practice of optical and electron-optical
instruments. Reflection, refraction and diffraction. Microscopy,
spectroscopy and holography. Instrument design, operation and
applications. Prerequisite: one semester
Download course description.. View
PHS 570: Spacetime Physics (3) Special and General Theories of Relativity with implications
for space and time travel. Prerequisite: two
semesters college physics.
PHS 581/CHM 581: Structure of Matter and its Properties(3)
Models of matter and its properties: mechanical, thermal, optical,
electrical, magnetic. Prerequisite: two semesters college physics.
Download syllabus. View
PHS 593: Applied Project: Action Research in Physical Science
(1-3) A project oriented course for inservice physical science
teachers. Action Research Projects (aimed at practical improvements in teaching
practice) will be undertaken by teams of two or more teachers. Projects begin
with a written proposal subject to approval by the instructor. Classroom implementation
and evaluation may be required. A final written report and a public presentation
to peers at a meeting or by a published paper is normally required. May be repeated
Download syllabus. View.
Download Action research policy document. View.
Download AR weekly timesheet-template. View.
Download AR evaluation checklist. View.
MORE MODELING WORKSHOP COURSES:
PHS 594: Workshops in Physical Science
(1-4) Collaborative workshops on various topics in physical
science and its integration with technology for inservice teachers. Workshops
that have been held are listed below.
PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in CASTLE Electricity (3) Modeling-adapted CASTLE electricity. Prerequisite: PHS 530/PHY 480 or a 3-week Modeling Workshop in physical science. Download syllabus or view
PHS 594/PHY 494: Physical Science with Math
Modeling Workshop (3) Force, motion, chemistry foundations for teachers
of middle school and high school. PHS 534 is recommended prior course, but
not required. Download syllabus or view
Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.
PHS 594: Modeling Workshop in Waves (2).
PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in Mechanical Waves and Sound
(3) Prerequisite: PHS 530/PHY480. Download
syllabus. or View.
Lab write-ups: format and rubric (by Michael Crofton; 2018). Daily calendar for 2018: Download. or View.
PHS 594: Modeling Instruction in Light (3) Prerequisite: PHS 530/PHY480. Download syllabus
PHS 594: Advanced Modeling Workshop (3) Cognition,
modeling discourse management, energy thread, assessment, other issues. Prerequisite:
two modeling workshops.
Course description: Download
CHM 594/CHM 480: Modeling Instruction
in Chemistry I (3) Key concepts in 1st semester high school
and post-secondary general chemistry from a model-centered perspective. Prerequisite:
chemistry or physics teacher or instructor approval, or a minimum of 2 semesters of college chemistry for science majors.
Download syllabus for 2021 or view.
View an example of chemistry modeling in action. Download
Download a template for a Modeling Instruction lesson plan.
CHM 594: Modeling Instruction in Chemistry II (3)
Key concepts in 2nd semester high school and post-secondary
general chemistry from a model-centered perspective. Prerequisite: Modeling
Instruction in Chemistry I.
Download syllabus for 2021. or view.
CHM 594/PHS 594: Thermodynamics Modeling Workshop (2 or 3). Key concepts in thermodynamics in high school and post-secondary
general chemistry and general physics, from a model-centered perspective. Prerequisite: Modeling
Instruction in Chemistry I, or mechanics Modeling Workshop.
Download syllabus for 2018 or view for 2016
How MNS courses were developed: Teaching Associates assisted faculty in course design, development and conduct. Teaching Associates are outstanding, experienced inservice physics teachers who are thoroughly versed in the methods and objectives of Modeling Instruction. Their responsibilities included:
Graduate Study at ASU
The ASU Department of Physics has a web page (physics.asu.edu/student-life/mns-experience/academic-advising) where MNS degree students can download all the necessary resources & forms, and get academic advisement. Forms include Program of Study (POS), petitions, graduation deadlines and procedures.
Evaluation Instruments for Participants
Each teacher who receives financial support is asked to give the appropriate instrument to at least one class as a baseline post-test and in the following year as both a pre-test and a post-test, to evaluate the effectiveness of your instruction. The instruments below are password-protected. Participants are given the password during their summer coursework at ASU. Should you lose your password, you may get a reminder by contacting Jane Jackson. If you wish, e-mail your summary test results in an Excel spreadsheet to Jane Jackson.
What Arizona Science Teachers Want & Need, for Professional Development
110 teachers were surveyed about their needs/wants by request of former AZ Governor Janet Napolitano, who wanted to know how to keep science teachers in the classroom
Physics teachers laud ASU Modeling Workshops and Modeling Instruction (2015). Download
Chemistry teachers laud ASU Modeling Workshops and Modeling Instruction (2015). Download
Success using Modeling Instruction in an Early College high school in urban Phoenix: John Meyers' story (2015)
Teachers' appreciation letters to ASU administrators (2005-2007) for Modeling Workshops.
Teachers' need for financial support, due to low pay and costly medical insurance (2008 to now). Download
How teachers want businesses to give them financial support ,-- written by a dozen Arizona physics and chemistry teachers.
A business plan by teachers, to support their professional growth, by Robert (Robin) Blackford, physics teacher-leader in rural AZ.
Teachers' need for ASU tuition support, for Modeling Workshops. Download
Return to the Modeling Instruction home page.
last updated Sept. 26, 2021 by Jane Jackson
This website was built in 1995 by Larry Dukerich, with guidance by David Hestenes. It has been maintained since 2005 by Jane Jackson, who is unskilled at technology. Many resources on this website are used in Modeling Workshops nationwide. The ASU Department of Physics supports this website, and it will be migrated/updated in fall 2021 for ongoing support. email@example.com
Copyright & Trademark Accessibility
Department of Physics, ASU, P.O. Box 871504, Tempe, AZ 85287-1504.
Phone: 480-965-3561, FAX: 480-965-7954. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org