Montana State University

PHSX 591-803: The World of Forces

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Sep 30-Nov 17, 2013
Credit: 1 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $368.40 NSTA members 10% discount
Instructor(s): Larry Kirkpatrick

Register Online

Course Description

This 1-credit course is designed for 4-8 grade teachers who are exploring the concepts of forces in their classrooms. Its broad purpose is to introduce elementary and middle school teachers to core ideas about forces, as they relate to modern hands-on, inquiry-oriented science curricular materials. The course aims to help teachers use such materials more effectively by increasing their understanding of physics concepts, especially as those concepts may emerge in a classroom engaged in hands-on active learning. It is not a course in how to use a particular curriculum. The goals of this course are to...

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the concept of force and the different kinds of force
  • Develop expertise in representing forces with free-body diagrams
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the relationship between forces and Newton's three laws of motion
  • Understand how forces determine the conditions for balancing
  • Learn how forces explain the operation of simple machines such as pulleys and levers
  • Study how children's concepts of force, torque, and work are developed in classroom settings
  • Become more effective users of inquiry-based curricular materials in teaching about forces
  • Develop your own professional community of course participants, with whom you can share teaching ideas, expertise, and experience.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers login to the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week to stay current and successfully complete this 1 graduate credit course.


Larry Kirkpatrick, PhD. Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, Montana State University-Bozeman.


A Bachelors degree, a general science methods course and some basic understanding of physics .

Target Audience

4th - 8th grade elementary/ middle school teachers.

Time Commitment:

6-8 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $98.50
 Computer Fee$3.40
 Distributed Learning Fee$0.00

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

***Program fee includes $90 materials fee. All materials will be shipped to you by NTEN

Required Books/Materials

  • Program fee includes $90 materials fee. All materials will be shipped to you by NTEN

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

Contact Lisa Brown at 1-800-461-9635 or e-mail at

How to Register

Register Online

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