Jun 29-Aug 07, 2020
Credit: 1 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $368.40
Instructor(s): George Tuthill

Course Description

Registration begins on March 23rd - please register for CRN 11165.
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

World of Force is a fully online (asynchronous) course, so participants can log in at times that best fit their schedules. However, it will involve frequent communications among participants and with the instructor, and is not designed for individual independent study. Each week participants should expect to connect to the course at least 4-6 times, and spend 6-8 hours on course-related work.


George Tuthill, PhD. is Professor Emeritus of Physics, and a member of the MSU Physics Department since 1976. He has worked extensively on projects for both in-service and pre-service science teachers since 1992. These include the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN), a program initiated with National Science Foundation funding that since 1994 has developed and delivered graduate-credit online courses in the natural sciences and mathematics.


Bachelor’s degree, a general science methods course, some basic understanding of physics. and preferably teacher certification with at least one year of teaching experience.

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

Most materials will be provided online while other materials will be shipped to you by NTEN shortly before the course begins.

Required Books/Materials

  • Most materials will be provided online while other materials will be shipped to you by NTEN shortly before the course begins.

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

About course content, contact George Tuthill at
For information about registration, contact Kelly Boyce at

How to Register

Call the Office of Continuing Education at (406) 994-6683 or toll free (866) 540-5660.