Resources and Equipment

  • Spaghetti Bridge Lab I love starting the year by asking my new class of students to show me what they can do: take data so that you can predict the number of masses ...
    Posted Aug 1, 2017, 10:40 PM by Mark Schober
  • 3D-Print Your Own Lab Clamps Clamps! You can never have too many, and a great table clamp is indispensable when setting up labs in the physics classroom. But table clamps sell for $50-$100 each ...
    Posted Jun 9, 2017, 9:31 PM by Mark Schober
  • Low-Cost Wave Generator Apparatus There's something magical about standing waves, resonance, and the tangibility of the nodes and antinodes. Students love working with the waveforms, and they love the direct connection to the ...
    Posted Jan 20, 2017, 12:49 PM by Mark Schober
  • Soda Can Photoelectric Effect Demo The photoelectric effect was at the heart of not just one Nobel Prize, but two! If you can plunk down $175 for a short wave UV source, (or borrow the ...
    Posted Apr 8, 2016, 8:17 PM by Mark Schober
  • LED Photoelectric Effect Apparatus I first encountered Wayne Garver's low-cost LED photoelectric effect apparatus at a St. Louis Area Physics Teachers workshop in 2005. Since then, I've been involved with building ...
    Posted Apr 5, 2016, 5:35 PM by Mark Schober
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Thoughts from the Spherical Cow

  • Crafting Multipurpose Learning Objectives Well-written learning objectives make expectations clear to students, bring focus to instructional time, encompass the external requirements on your course, and guide the design of assessments. In my teaching ...
    Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:37 PM by Mark Schober
  • Sharing Your Expertise Presented at the 2017 AAPT summer meeting in Cincinnati upon receiving the Paul W. Zitzewitz Award for Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching. Thank you, Dr.  Bailey, the AAPT awards ...
    Posted Jul 30, 2017, 8:29 PM by Mark Schober
  • An 8-Step Transition from Points-Based Grading to Standards-Based Grading Even if you're sold on standards-based grading, the transition can be daunting. Here is a roadmap for sequentially implementing key aspects of SBG, improving a points-based grading ...
    Posted Jan 10, 2018, 3:36 PM by Mark Schober
  • True Story This year's Chapel theme at Trinity School has centered on truth and truthfulness. Members of various departments explored aspects of truth in their disciplines and personal lives. I joined ...
    Posted Mar 22, 2016, 9:33 PM by Mark Schober
  • Insider Information on STEMteachersNYC 2016 Summer Modeling Workshops Here are some of the neat features of the nine workshops offered by STEMteachersNYC this summer that you won't find in the official workshop descriptions (the official stuff is ...
    Posted Feb 15, 2016, 10:04 AM by Mark Schober
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Physics Materials

My current approach to physics instruction attempts to do to the following:
* Provide coherent, student-centered, model-driven Modeling Instruction, 
* Support mastery learning through Standards-Based Grading, 
* Offer resources to support students' varied end-of-course goals.
* Meet kids' human needs through conscientious Rapport Building.

I'll write about each of these things in the coming months to explain what I mean.

After years of work revising and incorporating my own ideas into Modeling Instruction, some of my versions have become the "official" copyrighted versions by AMTA. As such, I'm not allowed to post them here, but must instead refer you to the AMTA site. This gets complicated, too. Over the past five years, I've created dramatically different versions with input from other collaborators while still being clearly based in Modeling Instruction. Trying to figure out a way to share those in a way that benefits teachers and protects AMTA's rights is an ongoing discussion.

Meteorology Materials

I taught middle school meteorology for fourteen years and worked to develop an approach that built foundational meteorology concepts (temperature, air pressure, humidity) on a particle model of matter. Students interpreted and explained complex ideas by basing their explanations on their understanding of how particles interact at the smallest scale.

Chemistry Materials

Resources for Modeling chemistry. Teaching chemistry from a Modeling perspective was a fantastic experience for me. I particularly loved how seamlessly chemistry and physics were intertwined. At my school, physics is taught before chemistry, so I can prepare students with skills and foreshadow critical ideas in the physics course. In chemistry, I can take full advantage of the students' robust concepts of mass, force, energy, and electrostatics.

Environmental Science
I led a one-semester environmental science elective in the fall of 2013. This companion website has links to a variety of the electronic resources used in the class. The pages in the menu on the left reflect the sequence of the course -- it was very much taught from the point of view of a physics teacher and I found the sequence to have a wonderful flow. I do hope to teach the course again because of the critical nature of the ideas encountered in the class. Every scientifically literate person needs to spend some time thinking about the complicated relationship between people and our planet.