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Teacher Seminars & Workshops

STEM & Standards Based Energy Education for the Classroom, 2014


Cape Light Compact
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension


Thursdays, 4:30-6:30 January 16, 2014 – March 20, 2014 for 8 classes.

Harborview Conference Room, Barnstable County Complex, Rt. 6A, Barnstable

Graduate Credits offered through Endicott College

PDP’s available



Deborah Shiflett-Fitton, Education Programs Coordinator, Cape Light Compact, 508 375-6703,

William Clark, Director, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, 508 375-6701,

And a variety of guest speakers!


How to Sign Up:

Click here to sign up for the course.


Course Description:  This course is designed for educators of middle through secondary levels and will cover energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies, the science of energy (energy transfers in relationship to the different kinetic and potential forms), and the sources of energy we use for electricity production all in the context of STEM education!   This course will feature specialists who will present up to date content and hands-on teaching activities.  All teachers are welcome to take the course and adapt it for their own classroom needs.

Course Requirements: Participants taking the course for graduate credit will be expected to:

  1. Attend all class sessions and follow-up sessions.
  2. Complete reading and homework assignments and submit work by due date.
  3. Participate in class activities and discussions
  4. Develop 2 lesson plans for classroom use.

Note:  All books and materials will be supplied to participants free of charge through the Cape Light Compact’s Energy Education Program.

Grading Criteria: 

  1. Each lesson plan will count for 40 points of the final grade (total of 80 points)
  2. final quiz will be worth 10 points
  3. Class participation will be worth 10 points

Course Outline:

1. January 16, 2014: Science of Energy:

Description:  With the use of the National Energy Education Development Project’s (NEED) curriculum and education kits “Science of Energy”, we will discuss the many forms of energy and their transfer to other forms.  Hands-on experiments will highlight this lesson on the basics of energy flows and the potential and kinetic forms that surround us.  

Readings:  Stop Faking It!  Energy   by William Robertson, NSTA press              


2. January 23:  Electricity, Magnets and Motors:

Description:  In this introduction to electricity teachers will discuss atomic   structure and will experiment with charges, static electricity, electromagnets, closed and parallel circuits and Ohm’s Law with the help of Delta Education materials and the NEED ElectroWorks kit. 

Readings:  Taking Charge, an Introduction to Electricity by Larry Schafer, NSTA Press


3. January 30:  Sources of Energy:

Description:  The ten major energy sources will be discussed and looked at in depth – the five renewable and five non-renewable sources: Wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, biomass, petroleum, coal, natural gas, propane, and nuclear.  What are the ramifications of using these energy sources?  Are all necessary in our human society?  How are these interrelated?  Several simulation activities will be used to highlight this complex question.

Readings:  EIA publications TBA


4. February 6:  The Power Grid:

Description: Where do we get our power for electricity in our region and why is it so expensive? We will take a close look at the physics and politics of the New England Power Grid and learn about ISO New England’s role in our electricity supply as well as our demand and electric needs. Lessons and helpful graphs for classroom use will be the focus. 

Readings: TBA


5. February 13:  Energy Efficiency:

Description:  Through the NEED Project’s “Monitoring and Mentoring” and “Learning and Conserving” program, we will explore ways in which students can become energy auditors for their school and help with efforts in becoming more energy efficient at home.  Participants will work with kits and go over instrumentation and demonstration models available for classroom use.

Readings:  Energy Savers: Tips on Saving Energy at Home  US Department of Energy


6. February 27:  Solar Energy:

Description:  Thermodynamic basics and an exploration of solar electric (photovoltaic) energy will the focus of our evening discussions as well as hands-on activities that will allow participants a clear view of the inner workings of this emerging and important renewable energy resource. 

Readings:  Solar Heating and You: DOE/DH10093-272 (EIA)

                   Photovoltaics from the NEED Project


7. March 6:  Wind Energy:

Description:  This hands-on workshop will feature the famous ”Kid Wind”     materials and the “blade design” challenge.  Participants will learn the basic   principles that support wind energy and some innovative methods to introduce   students to wind energy concepts using these standards-baed activities.

Readings:  Alternative Energy Demystified by Stan Gibilisco


8. March 13:  Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Alternative Fuels:

Description:  What will our transportation methods change over the course of the next ten years?  We will look at the sustainable attributes of the popular emerging biofuels as well as take a look at how a hydrogen fuel cell works with the help of NEED’s Hydrogen Fuel Cell kit.

Readings:  TBA


Energy Source Field trip: Tentatively scheduled for March 22

Description:  A comprehensive look at three very different electricity producers: Mirant Canal Plant, a natural gas powered facility, a wind turbine at Mass. Maritime Academy, and Covanta SEMASS, the waste to energy plant that takes most of our Cape trash for processing into electricity.


Readings:  TBA


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