Integrating Energy, Equity, and Place in High School Physics

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Unit outline, Energy and Equity in Environmental Science course

This semester-long unit moves from the basics of energy, to energy use in our homes, to sources of electric power in our home state of NY. We ended with a self-directed project on one of the following local energy justice campaigns: peaker plants, bus-route redesign, and community-owned solar. Learning goals: Energy is conserved during transformations from one form of energy storage to another. These transformations include heat lost to the surroundings. Electricity use has environmental consequences that vary by type of electricity generation. Issues of energy justice are relevant in our New York City community.

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Energy is a foundational concept of physics and plays an integral role in a web of sociocultural realities, economic issues, and public policies. The Energy and Equity Portal supports high school teachers in teaching a robust model of energy, grounded in the NGSS, and also intentionally constructed to support engagement with current sociopolitical issues.

Using the resources and community provided in the Portal, teachers 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 students create science concepts informed by their cultural worlds and educational priorities. Check out the classroom-ready teaching tools and enjoy a dynamic and compassionate professional learning community!

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