Integrating Energy, Equity, and Place in High School Physics





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James Panzer

Pedagogical Methods Used

Collaborative problem-solving

Describe the courses that you teach

I teach Environmental Physics, AP Physics 1, and Earth Science. Environmental Physics is a course that I adapted from working with my esteemed mentor David Gewanter. It is a course designed to challenge students in ways that aren't commonly found in a high school physics class (students sleep outside in winter without a fire to learn thermodynamics, design a 3-D model of a passive house, etc). AP Physics 1 and Earth Science are more standardized courses, but I find ways to incorporate issues of equity into the curriculum to make those subjects more relevant to student's lives and to stress the role of science outside of classrooms.

What does it mean to you to integrate science and equity?

I feel that if a teacher is not incorporating ideas of equity into science education, then that teacher's students will be short-changed in their education, and ill-prepared for the world. Teaching of science without considering equity and other societal issues is obsolete. With the many technological advancements that quite literally solve physics problems for students without the student critically thinking at all, the concepts of science in the context of equity is crucial angle we all should be taking in our profession.

Community Builder


Connecting your Actions to the amount of CO2 released.

In-class activity, Project, Instructor supplement

How much CO2 is released because of eating corn? Beef? How is this connected to your daily life? Students make a video once they find out!

Health Care, Poverty and Economic Injustice, Climate Change, Greenhouse Gasses


James Panzer

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