• Norris Conference Center
  • 2525 West Anderson Laned
  • Austin, TX 78757
  • 512.451.5011
  • Get Directions

Eligible Attendees

Initial registration is limited to one participant from each TRC Science Collaborative. The individual attending the PDA should plan to be the primary presenter for a five-day turnaround training that is both pedagogy and content intense. If your attendee is not qualified in both roles, please consider recruiting an additional individual after the PDA to meet the content expertise requirements for the turnaround training. Total number of participants is limited to 40; therefore, we may need to share physics content experts between participating Collaboratives. Please email Mary Hobbs at maryhobbs@mail.utexas.edu to be placed on the waiting list before registering more than one individual.


WestEd will lead a 5-day Making Sense of SCIENCE (MSS) facilitation academy to prepare participants to effectively lead a MSS course in force and motion for middle school teachers in their regions. Facilitation academy participants will:

  • Experience the Force and Motion course firsthand, make sense of vexing science concepts, explore the practice of teaching, and consider how to support students’ literacy needs in science
  • Collaboratively investigate the art of facilitation, including strategies for promoting evidence-based conversations among teachers and strategies for supporting teachers’ analysis of student work and use of formative assessments
  • Learn core principles of effective facilitation in science, practice facilitation, and receive one-on-one coaching

The Making Sense of SCIENCE approach develops teachers’ content knowledge, instructional skill and expertise through inquiry-based science learning, collaborative discussion, and a focus on literacy in science. The materials were developed by WestEd with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), and published in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Rigorous studies and national field-testing have gone hand-in-hand with the evolution of the Understanding Science for Teaching model of professional development and the MSS courses that embody that model. Evidence from a series of randomized controlled studies have shown that this approach to professional development strengthens teachers’ content knowledge, transforms classroom practices, and boosts student achievement — especially for low-achieving students, English learners, and students with poor literacy skills. As a result, MSS courses can help close student achievement gaps. More information is available at:

  • www.wested.org/mss
  • Note; In addition the MSS: Force & Motion course for teacher learning finds excellent alignment with the targeted force, motion, and energy TEKS (8.6 A–C and 6.8 A & C) for students.

A summary of the 5-day Force and Motion course is as follows:

  • Day 1: Motion — Motion can feel easy to notice, yet difficult to describe, especially in science-y ways. To talk about motion requires being able to say precisely where an object is located, how far it has gone, and how fast it’s moving, and in what direction. Surprisingly, that’s not always easy! This session clarifies the tricky differences between speed and velocity, distance and displacement, and position and reference point.
  • Day 2: Change in Motion — The word acceleration is part of our everyday vocabulary, but like many terms we use day-to-day, it’s a slippery word. When you hear it, you are likely to think of something speeding up, like a swanky car going from zero to 60 in 6 seconds. As you will discover in this session, acceleration is much, much more.
  • Day 3: Acceleration & Force — Newton’s First Law of motion sounds simple — any acceleration requires a force, and unbalanced forces result in acceleration — but the truth is in the details, and the truth is it’s not always straight forward. This session explores what it means to apply a constant force versus an impulse force, and how balanced and unbalanced forces do and do not affect an objects motion.
  • Day 4: Force — Forces exist everywhere and affect nearly everything we do, but they are often easy to forget and hard to identify. The term force itself, is difficult to define. This session tackles Newton’s Third Law of Motion — for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction — and solidifies the concept of force interactions.
  • Day 5: Acceleration & Mass — We intuitively know that heavy objects are harder to push than light objects. But does a bowling ball fall faster than a baseball? Or is it the other way around? Or neither? Newton’s Second Law of Motion — the amount of acceleration depends on the mass of the object and the net force(s) acting on the object — sounds easy enough, but this session explores the complex relationship between acceleration and mass.

Certificates of Participation

Certificates stating 40 hours of Continuing Professional Education hours (CPE credits) earned will be sent electronically after the participant has completed the online course evaluation. Participants should receive the certificate two to three weeks after the PDA. Any questions about certificates should be directed toward the contact person listed on this page.



Sleeping rooms are available at the Hotel Allandale on a first come, first serve basis. Contact the hotel directly by phone to make a reservation. Reservations MUST be made by April 1, 2013 to ensure a space at the hosting hotel: Hotel Allandale. Please tell the reservationist to use the code UT-PDA when making your reservation to get the group rate*.

  • Hotel Allendale
  • 7685 Northcross Drive
  • Austin, TX 78757
  • 512.452.9391
  • Get Directions

*Limited number of rooms available at $99.00/night. The block will close on April 1. Once the block is closed/full, prevailing rates will apply.


Parking is free and abundant at the Hotel Allandale and the Ben Hur Shrine Center.


  • Cost:
    $45.00 per day for each participant.
    $225.00 total per participant for this 5-day workshop.
  • Registration fees cover breakfast, lunch and training materials.
  • Payments are due before this event.
  • Refunds will not be issued for cancellations or those not in attendance.
  • Event limited to 40 participants

Registration Payment

  • Participants can pay by credit card or check. The registration confirmation email will contain all necessary information to provide to business offices for credit card payment records and check processing instructions.
  • Checks for registration need to be made out to “The University of Texas at Austin.” Please send to the attention of Jeff Early along with the printed registration confirmation email.
  • Transportation expenses will be reimbursed. Reimbursement forms will be provided electronically after the event. All participants are responsible for their own lodging reservations and payments.

Registration Instructions:

Click the registration button below to register your attendance. You will be asked your name, email, and collaborative. If you are not the project director, you will need to enter your project director’s email as well. If you have multiple people attending, please fill out this form for each person that will be attending. You may need to quit and restart your browser to enter multiple people. If you need technical help with the registration page, send an email to the: TRC Web Team.