Making and Modeling

I have been resisting writing a blog for quite some time now. I suppose I just never thought it would be useful to anyone, but as I found myself reading and getting enormous value out of other amazing blogs that I stumbled upon, I decided it was time to contribute to the conversation.

I am a physics and technology teacher devoted to integrating the design and fabrication process with the scientific method of observation and experimentation. Along with my amazing colleague Bob, I have created a small learning community called the Academy of Physics and Technology. In this academy, we promote the learning of science through project based investigations incorporating engineering methods and content knowledge.

A number of years ago, I happened to learn about Modeling Instruction in Physics and was immediately impressed by the approach developed by David Hestenes and the work of what was then the nascent American Modeling Teachers Association. Since then, I have been inspired by the work and writings of many modeling teachers and have chosen to follow in their footsteps. In the last few years, my instruction has taken a huge leap forward and with it my students’ conceptual understanding of the physical universe.

This blog will be my attempt to add to the discussion around modeling instruction as it pertains to the integration of engineering instruction and career technical education. I hope to create a dialog with other teachers out there who are exploring engineering instruction at the secondary school level, and who might be interested in seeing how one teacher has built a small learning community that integrates project based learning with modeling instruction.