Exploring Physics: Strategies for Teaching Mechanics



In this workshop you will learn how to engage your students actively in learning Physics, specifically, the physics of motion, forces (Newton’s Laws), and energy. Paul Feffer, physics teacher at the Storm King School, will host a small group of physics teachers in an intense, stimulating two-week session. The workshop will focus on enabling the participants to integrate some of the best practices developed to date into their own classrooms. In “student mode”, teachers will participate as students would: carrying out experiments; collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; representing their results in various ways, communicating with colleagues, and discovering the key underlying physical and mathematical relationships.

In “teacher mode”, participants will study, share and discuss pedagogical aspects and how to adapt instruction to a variety of student learning styles and levels of cognitive functioning, as well as the details of implementation in their own classrooms, including strategies for district-specific curricular requirements, class schedules and lab resources. Interested teachers should register as soon as possible; the workshop is strictly limited to a maximum of 12, so that all participants can practice leading selected activities and receive feedback from the group.

The first week of the workshop will focus on kinematics (uniform motion and accelerated motion), the basics of interactions and forces (Newton’s Third Law), and motion with no net force (Newton’s First Law). The second week will include motion with constant force (Newton’s Second Law), projectile motion, circular motion, energy storage and transfer, and (if time permits) momentum transfer.

Whether you are an experienced teacher or new to the teaching profession, you will feel excited and motivated for your upcoming school year after participating in this highly immersive and collaborative workshop. You will observe how this engaging approach promotes student-centered sense making, confidence, and appreciation for the nature of science. As with all of the STEMteacherNYC workshops, this workshop is led by teachers, for teachers, about teaching!

Participants will receive copies of recently designed curricular materials to use and modify as they wish, plus a free membership in the active online STEMteachersNYC Google Group community, with over 1,000 local STEM teacher-members available for discussion and collaboration.

Aug. 5 – 16, 2019

Led by​: Paul Feffer

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