January 27-31, 2014

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM



  • Hilton Austin Airport

  • 9515 Hotel Drive
  • Austin, TX 78717
  • 512-385-6767
  • 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. 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 Energy for middle school teachers in their regions. Facilitation academy participants will:

  • Experience the Energy 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
  • An analysis of the MSS: Energy course for teacher learning finds excellent alignment with the following: TEKS 8.11 A; TEKS 7.5 A–C; TEKS 7.6 C; TEKS 7.7 B; TEKS 6.7 A; TEKS 6.9 A–C; for middle school students. In addition, upper elementary teachers would benefit, as there is also good alignment with the following: TEKS 3.5 C; TEKS 3.6 A; TEKS 3.9 B; TEKS 4.6 A; TEKS 4.9 B; TEKS 5.6 A–B; and TEKS 5.9 B.

A summary of the 5-day Energy course is as follows:

  • Day 1: What is Energy — Every interaction involves energy and the word itself is everywhere in our day-to-day lives—energy conservation, clean energy, and simply not having enough energy to wash the dishes after a long day—just to name a few. But what is energy? This session seeks to answer that question and explores the various kinds of energy that keep our world going.
  • Day 2: Potential Energy — All objects—big and small, hot and cold, moving and stationary—have potential energy. But the principle of having energy can lead to logical but incorrect assumptions of what this means. This session identifies the various types of potential energy and helps to clarify what it really means to have potential energy.
  • Day 3: Heat Energy — We instinctively all know something about heat just from our daily life. And we all know that global warming is a hot topic. But an understanding of the energy of heat is not exactly commonplace. This session explores the various ways in which heat energy is misunderstood and the ways in which scientists define and talk about heat energy, how it’s transferred, and how it affects our world.
  • Day 4: Conservation of Energy — 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: Energy in Ecosystems — All organisms, no matter where they are on the food chain, require a source of chemical potential energy to survive—food! Sounds simple, right? But do all organisms acquire food in the same way? And how do they harness the energy in that food? This session explores the complex interactions between food and organisms.

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 Hilton Austin Airport on a first come, first serve basis. Rooms are state rate until sold out. Reference group code WESTED when making reservations.

Reservation Website — When making reservations online, use WESTED as the group code in the special rate code section.

  • Hilton Austin Airport

  • 9515 Hotel Drive
  • Austin, TX 78717
  • 512-385-6767
  • Get Directions



Parking is free and abundant at the Airport Hilton.



  • 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.

Click to Register