Supporting the Implementation of Modeling Instruction in Rural Schools

Grade Level(s): High School

Date(s): June 26 – 30, 2023 (Week #1), July 10 – 14, 2023 (Week #2), July 17 – 21, 2022 (Week #3)

Location: Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC

Cost: There is no charge. Participating teachers will be eligible for a stipend of up to $4,300 over the course of their involvement in the project.

Description: The Science House in the College of Sciences and the STEM Education Department in the College of Education are excited to offer this new professional development opportunity to high school science teachers in western North Carolina. Supporting the Implementation of Modeling Instruction in Rural Schools (SIMIRS) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Discovery Research PreK-12 (DRK-12) project (Project Number 2101590). This program focuses on Modeling Instruction in High School Biology and High School Chemistry while producing new educational research in the area of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK).

This project will offer professional development to two different cohorts of teachers. Cohort 1 began their participation in the summer of 2022 in northwest NC. Cohort 2 will begin their professional development in the summer of 2023 in the western NC area, which will continue during the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years. Below is information on the courses that will serve Cohort 2.

2023-2024 Modeling Courses:

Modeling Biology & Modeling Chemistry will both take place at the dates and locations described below. The information below applies to both courses.

Who is eligible to apply? North Carolina High School Biology and High School Chemistry Teachers. You must anticipate teaching Biology or Chemistry in the 2023-24 academic year. High School Physical Science teachers are eligible to apply and will be considered for the Chemistry course, though Chemistry teachers will have priority.

2023 Summer Dates: 

June 26 – 30, 2023 (Week #1)

July 10 – 14, 2023 (Week #2)

July 17 – 21, 2023 (Week #3)

Participation is required in all three weeks. Academic year follow up workshops (dates to be determined) will be held in Fall 2023 (two days) and Spring 2024 (two days). Substitute teacher expenses and stipends will be covered by the project.

2023 Summer Location: Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC

Hours and Credits: Anticipated workshop hours are 8:30 AM to 4 PM on Monday through Thursday and 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM on Friday of each week. The summer workshop will be 15 days with an additional 4 follow-up days during the 2023-24 academic year for a total of 114 hours of formal instruction in the first year of participation. Additional follow up days will be provided in the 2024-25 academic year.

Cost: There is no charge. Participating teachers will be eligible for a stipend of up to $4,300 over the course of their multiyear involvement (two years) in the project. Stipends will be issued for daily attendance as well as for completion of project research activities.

Travel: Participating teachers are responsible for their own travel and daily commute to the workshop location. We are exploring low-cost campus housing options at Western Carolina University for participants beyond commuting distance. More details will be shared as they become available.

Education Research Component: Participating teachers will be asked to take part in educational research activities. Agreeing to participate in the research is a prerequisite for selection. A copy of the consent form participants will be asked to signed with a list of associated research activities can be found here: Consent Form for Participants

Participating Districts: The following districts and schools provided a letter of collaboration and are grant partners. Teachers from these partners will have priority registration, however, all North Carolina teachers are eligible to apply.

Alleghany County Schools, Asheville City Schools, Avery County Schools, Buncombe County Schools, Caldwell County Schools, Catawba County Schools, Cherokee County Schools, Cleveland County Schools, Davie County Schools, Graham County Schools, Haywood County Schools, Henderson County Public Schools, Highland School of Technology (Gaston County), Iredell-Statesville Schools, Jackson County Schools, Macon County Schools, McDowell County Schools, Mount Airy City Schools, Mountain Heritage High (Yancey County), Newton-Conover City Schools, Rowan-Salisbury School System, Rutherford County Schools, Surry County Schools, Watauga High School, Wilkes County Schools, Yadkin County Schools.

Applications are currently being collected and interested teachers are encouraged to apply.  Applications are submitted through the NCSU REPORTER system. Click on the links below to be directed to the application link for the Biology or Chemistry course. If you have not previously used REPORTER, you will need to register for a free login in order to submit an application.

Modeling Biology Application (click here)

Modeling Chemistry Application (click here)

To learn more about Modeling Instruction, please visit: American Modeling Teachers Association.

Contact(s): Scott Ragan (nsragan@ncsu.edu)

Application Deadline: May 31, 2023