Our teaching units are coming soon - please check back!
All of the content on this website is intended to provide educators in the middle grades with resources to aid classroom instruction. In particular, we have developed four standards-aligned units to help you and your students explore energy in inquiry-driven, hands-on ways. We encourage you to take advantage of these instructional resources!
Each unit is a downloadable PowerPoint (.pptx) presentation for you to use on your interactive whiteboard/display screen. A unit consists of multiple activities that make up one larger instructional unit that covers multiple class periods.
The slides have been designed to engage students in PowerPoint display mode. They have built-in animations, links to multimedia content on this website, and key concepts and images that help drive learning.
The Notes Sections on each slide help you take full advantage of the unit and maximize learning and student engagement. The Notes provide a guide with suggested implementation steps, recommended time parameters for covering a slide’s content, assessment tips, and potential modifications. They also often provide some of the intended rationale for the instructional design and flow of the learning process.
Each unit includes at least one printable handout, if you choose to use it. Each handout complements the content on a slide, so printing the handout is not crucial to completing the unit. But you always have that option.
List of teaching units - coming soon!
Input Vs. Output
Using the Law of Conservation of Energy as a centerpiece, this unit explores the transference of energy between different objects and the transformation of energy into different forms — potential and kinetic. The unit includes experiments that reinforce the Law of Conservation of Energy. The unit culminates with a deeper exploration of electric current and watts as a measure of power in order for students to assess how they might save energy.
Homing in on Energy Efficiency
In this unit, students evaluate the various ways that they utilize energy — particularly electric energy. They learn how rechargeable batteries charge and discharge energy. There is a fun activity that helps illustrate the concept of charging and discharging energy. After assessing energy use and learning about power generation, students create a way to “audit” their energy use at home and determine steps that they can take to be more energy efficient.
Renewable Energy Challenge
This unit builds toward students’ participating in an engineering design challenge where they build apparatuses powered by a renewable energy source. There is an interactive renewable energy quiz to deepen their understanding of renewables. Via a smaller open-ended challenge, students also experiment with the transfer of energy. Each of the activities help prepare students for engineering their designs.
Proceed with Caution
By highlighting the science behind the dangers associated with electricity and natural gas, this unit deepens students’ understanding the actions they can take to avoid and minimize risks of energy use. An interactive quiz on the dangers builds that foundation of energy safety. Students learn about how electricity moves in currents and poses risks, as well as risks associated with natural gas. In the end, students create energy safety campaigns for younger children.