What ideas do students have about energy changes?

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Episode 503: Pie Florida International University

Research suggests that students have both productive ideas about and difficulties with energy transfers and transformations. What ideas do students have about energy changes?

July 5, 2018

Pedagogy Content
Developing student ideas
Physics Content
Instructor Interaction

Lesson Contents (1 MB)Student Handout
Transcript, discussion questions, and problem

(1 MB)Specific Lesson Guide
Facilitator's guide for this lesson

(1 MB)General Facilitator's Guide
Background and best practices

(241 MB)Video
Captioned video


Sample Discussion Prompts

  1. What did you notice in this episode? Talk to your neighbor about what you noticed.

  2. Explain the imagery that Alberto is using about the pie. What does the pie represent? (In particular, does it represent the energy, the ball, or both?) What energy transformations does Alberto describe?

  3. What do you understand Alberto to be saying in line 8, about the pie losing something?

  4. In line 9, Lara says, “So then there’s blueberry everywhere?” What would it mean for there to be “blueberry everywhere”? Do you think that is what Alberto meant to be saying in line 8, or is this a new idea?

  5. By saying ”blueberry” instead of just “blue” (line 9), Lara not only takes up Alberto’s “pie” imagery but also extends it. How do you feel about this instructional move? Is she helpfully adapting to his language, or unhelpfully introducing ideas that don’t belong in the conversation?

  6. What student ideas about energy changes are indicated in this episode?

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Student ideas14 LESSONS

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