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Energy as a Unifying Concept

EMG 807:

This pedagogical content knowledge-based course focuses on energy as an essential concept integrating all science content areas: physical science, life science, earth systems science, and socio-scientific issues.


This is the course syllabus for EMG 807: Energy as a Unifying Concept for Science Teaching.

Course Text:

Culminating Course Professional Development for Teachers:

Course Poster:

This was the poster that we sent out to various people/places (advisors, teachers, friends) to recruit class participants.  We also posted copies of this poster around the education and science buildings.

Grade 7: Energy Concepts and Connections:

This document includes content from the seventh grade science standards that relate to concepts of energy in some form or another.

Energy Concept Inventory Website:

The course pre and post-test used the assessment, the Energy Concept Inventory.  The link below takes you to a site that allows you to print a pdf document.  Please email scott.townsend@eku.eduif you would like my Word version.  It is the same test except it has approximately two inches of space between each item.  I required all class participants to elaborate on each question in order to measure conceptual understanding.

Energy Types PowerPoint:

I used this presentation during the first class period after doing stations implementing activities from the Teaching Energy with Toys and Teaching Physics with Toys books.  This PowerPoint mainly focuses on “states” of energy and examples of each—paying special attention to the fact that “energy is energy,” and the only question is “where does the energy reside?”

Energy Puffs Rubric:

Teaching the topics of “energy sources” can be quite boring for the science teacher and the students.  The Energy Puffs activity was meant to be a project that was both fun and informational for the students.  Using an old cereal box, students were assigned an energy source for which they had to design a box that would be appealing to the consumer. 

The front of the box stated the type of energy source in addition to any other catchy thing about the source.  This may include a cartoon character, notification about a prize inside, etc.  The back of the box usually had puzzles, games, etc that would help the consumer learn more about the energy source.  Instead of “nutrition information” on the side, the box had to show “energy information” to give facts about that energy source.  The other vertical side was open for anything the student wanted.  Finally, the bottom was where the student put all the “fine print” that about the energy source that he didn’t want the consumer to directly see.

Energy Video Descriptions:


Weekly Video Questions Worksheets

These descriptions are directly taken from the Annenberg Media site ( from which the teacher development videos were used.  The videos were part of what made the online aspect of this hybrid course.  After each onsite course meeting, the course participants had readings and videos that supplemented what we did in class.  The readings are listed in the course sequence on the syllabus.  The videos below show which class it followed.  The course outline aspect of the syllabus will show how the course topics, the course sequence, the readings, and the videos fit together.

Syllabus.pdf587.64 KB
Course_Poster.pdf272.98 KB
Concept_Connections_scistandard.pdf112.44 KB
Concept_Inventory.pdf942.45 KB
Energy_Types.pptx2.27 MB
Energy_Puffs_Rubric.pdf128.8 KB
Energy_Video_Descriptions.docx22.77 KB
Class1_Video1.pdf108.73 KB
Class1_Video2.pdf175 KB
Class2_Video3.pdf130.63 KB
Class2_Video4.pdf64.58 KB
Class3_video1.pdf129.95 KB
Class3_video2.pdf76.98 KB
Class4_video1.pdf164.72 KB
Class4_video2.pdf169.5 KB
Class5_onlyvideo.pdf61.01 KB
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