Energy for Teachers of Grades 6-8
Published in 2011, this comprehensive professional development course for grades 6–8 science teachers provides all the necessary ingredients for building a scientific way of thinking in teachers and students, focusing on science content, inquiry, and literacy.
Session 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.
Session 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.
Session 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.
Session 4: Conservation of Energy
The law of conservation of energy states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It is always conserved. But how? And why do our experiences often lead us to believe otherwise — it sure seems like energy is lost when our morning coffee cools before we can drink it, children tire after a hard day at play, and our cell phone batteries die at the most inconvenient moments. This session provides a systematic explanation for how and why conservation of energy is possible.
Session 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.
ENERGY COURSE OVERVIEW (PDF)
Download a printable version of the session-by-session course overview.
ENERGY MATERIALS LIST (PDF)
Download this complete list of all general supplies, hands-on materials, and printed materials used in this course.
As errors and omissions are found in course materials, errata sheets are created to correct them.