Energy Project

Developed by: Hunter Close, Eleanor Close, Lezlie DeWater, Stamatis Vokos, Lane Seeley, Rachel Scherr, and Sam McKagan

middle schoolhigh schoolintro collegeinter-mediateupper levelgrad school   other

 Intro College Conceptual

Mechanics  Thermal / Statistical
Lecture - Small (<30 students)

What? A professional development program for K-12 teachers on the learning of energy. Teachers learn about energy, and learn to experience science as an area where they and their students are empowered to figure things out. They construct their own understanding about energy and about learning.

Student skills developed

Designed for:
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Making real-world connections
  • Using multiple representations
  • Metacognition

Instructor effort required

  • High

Resources required

  • Tables for group work

Developer's website: Energy Project
Intro Article: H. Close, L. DeWater, E. Close, R. Scherr, and S. McKagan, Using the Algebra Project Method to Regiment Discourse in an Energy Course for Teachers, presented at the Physics Education Research Conference 2010, Portland, Oregon, 2010.
Bronze Validation
This is the third highest level of research validation, corresponding to:
  • at least 1 of the "based on" categories
  • at least 1 of the "demonstrated to improve" categories
  • at least 1 of the "studied using" categories
(Categories shown below)

Research Validation Summary

Based on Research Into:

  • theories of how students learn
  • student ideas about specific topics

Demonstrated to Improve:

  • conceptual understanding
  • problem-solving skills
  • lab skills
  • beliefs and attitudes
  • attendance
  • retention of students
  • success of underrepresented groups
  • performance in subsequent classes

Studied using:

  • cycle of research and redevelopment
  • student interviews
  • classroom observations
  • analysis of written work
  • research at multiple institutions
  • research by multiple groups
  • peer-reviewed publication