Course Description

Energy is a foundational concept of physics and plays an integral role in a web of sociocultural realities, economic issues, and public policies. Designed for high school teachers, this course will enable participants to develop a robust model of energy, grounded in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and also intentionally constructed to support engagement with current sociopolitical issues. We will collaboratively explore energy learning as a means for promoting discussions of energy justice and energy equity globally and in our local communities. By developing a model of energy in physics that is fully aware of how science is sociocultural, teachers (and their students) will gain the opportunity to create science concepts informed by their cultural worlds and educational priorities. This work will take place in a fun, positive learning community that welcomes high school teachers who will bring diverse expertise in physics, equity, and inclusion. The course will model best practices from a science disciplinary perspective. Participants will gain classroom-ready teaching tools, enjoy a dynamic and compassionate professional learning community, and be energized for the upcoming academic year.

Learner Outcomes

By the end of this course participants will be able to:

  • Have a new vision of energy instruction that connects physics learning to learning about equity and justice
  • Develop a rigorous energy model based in the NGSS.
  • Apply the above energy model to socio-politically relevant energy scenarios (such as fossil fuel supply, climate change, energy sustainability, and energy poverty).
  • Recognize historic and present-day inequities in science participation.
  • Articulate how their intersectional identities place them in relationship to larger systems eg. Race, gender, power, socioeconomic status, ethnicity and how these identities shape their teaching.


This course can either be taken for credit or clock hours. Credit is available under PHY 5031.

Thank you for your interest in this course. No offerings are available at this time.
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