EP At a Glance

Each chapter scaffolds towards an authentic project where students apply the concepts learned in the unit.  "Energy & Society" sections between chapters are scaffolded research projects to help students appreciate and understand the connections between energy and society.


Chapter 1: Speed and measurement – Design and build devices to measure the speed of each other.

Energy & Society #1: How much energy per capita is used by various countries?

Chapter 2: Energy – Discover energy relationships investigating marbles rolling down ramps. Students then design a thrilling bungee drop experience for a raw egg.

Energy & Society #2: What sources of energy are used by different countries?

Chapter 3: Work – Move from looking at closed systems in Chapter 2 to open systems involving work, energy moving into and out of a system.  Force diagrams, Newton's 1st Law of Motion and friction are introduced so students can successfully complete a slingshot project.

Energy & Society #3: How does the United States uses energy?

Chapter 4: Forces and Motion – Investigate one-dimensional motion (Newton's 2nd Law, kinematic equations, and motion graphs).  By the end of the unit students can successfully investigate the physics of a short video clip.

Energy & Society #4: Communicating energy issues with infographics.

Chapter 5: Electricity – Students start by investigating a few electrostatic phenomenon to learn how the atom relates to electrical concepts.  Then students use light bulbs in series and parallel to scaffold concepts on electric circuits.  At the end of the unit students investigate the electrical system in their own home, developing a report for their family detailing ways to conserve energy and save money.

Energy & Society #5: How efficient are the devices we use?

Chapter 6: Waves – Wave properties are investigated and applied to sound and light.  At the end of the chapter, students develop an artistic product to teach others about the wave concepts.

Energy & Society #6: How can governmental energy policies help manage energy use?

Chapter 7: Thermal Energy– Introduces the difference between heat and temperature, q = mc∆T, phase changes, and insulation.  To demonstrate their understanding, students develop a container to "Save the Ice".

Energy & Society #7: The future?  Students incorporate what they learned throughout the course to predict the U.S.'s energy use 20 years into the future.

Chapter 8: Multiple Objects/Multiple Dimensions - Investigate collisions (Newton's 3rd Law of Motion and Momentum), circular motion, and two dimensional motion (projectile motion) to design an amusement park.

Chapter 9: Optics - Learn about the ray model of light, mirrors and lenses.  In the end, students report on a device applying the concepts learned in the chapter.