EDUC 5750

EDUC 5750
Energy in STEM for Elementary Teachers

Instructor:  Charlie Matthews                                   
Phone:  (435) 901-0283                                                                     
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                          
Location: Room 241 PCHS                                                                      

Student-instructor conferences by appointment.  

Empowering the student through knowledge,

preparation, and ethics

The mission of the UVU School of Education endorsement programs at UVU is to prepare individuals for further career choices and advancement. Our professional education programs provide innovative courses and experiences to support the demands of professional standards, intellectual rigor, and collaboration among faculty, community, and other professional stakeholders. To accomplish this task we engage candidates in research and standards based instruction in pedagogy, content, and professional ethics, diversity, community experiences, field work and clinical practice, reflection and decision making, and technology opportunities. Participants acquire and develop knowledge, skills, and dispositions to positively impact students, the community, and themselves as they continue on the journey to life-long learning.


National Research Council. (2012). A framework for k-12 science education: practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

National Research Council. (2013). The next generation science standards. Available online from

Current professional journal articles, as assigned.


This course provides teachers with a deep and useful understanding of energy and the nature of how students use concepts of energy to make sense of phenomena across life, earth, and physical science. This understanding enhances teacher insights into: 1) how matter and energy interact, 2) the relationships of energy to forces and interactions within fields, and 3) pedagogical content knowledge around teaching and learning about energy.  The course also provides teachers with knowledge of how energy concepts may be used by students with the Crosscutting Concepts, and Engineering and Science practices.

Lesson Design

Using your new understandings about force from this course, you will work with a small group (3 or 4 members) of your classmates to develop and present an integrated lesson based on an engineering standard from the Next Generation Science Standards and the proposed Utah SEEd Standards for a specific grade level. The lesson should 1) use a project-based or problem-based planning model, 2) incorporate technology suitable to the lesson content, 3) involve experiences outside the classroom (if possible and appropriate), and 4) meaningfully integrate content from two other curricular areas.  Your team will prepare to present a 30-40 minute version of the lesson (or part of the lesson) in class. You will also prepare and submit a written version of your lesson that will be shared with other class members.

Science Notebooks

As you work on scientific and engineering investigations during class sessions, you will record evidence of your explorations, predictions, questions, observations, drawings, etc. There should be at least one entry for each class session, and each entry should be dated, but your notebook does not need to be beautiful. Your work should be authentic and should illustrate your struggles as well as your successes.

Summary of grading criteria

Course Requirements


Class attendance, participation, and professionalism 5 pt/night


Lesson design          30 pt


Science notebooks 10 pt/night


Other Assignments       



Students with Disabilities

If you have any disability that may impair your ability to successfully complete this course, please let me know as soon as possible. You will also need to contact the Accessibility Services Department (room BU 146), the people who will work with us to coordinate services to provide you access to course requirements. Academic accommodations are granted for all students who have qualified, documented disabilities.

Students who need accommodations because of a disability may contact the UVU Accessibility Services Department (ASD), located on the Orem Campus in LC 312. To schedule an appointment or to speak with a counselor, call the ASD office at 801-863-8747. Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or text 385-208-2677.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a legitimate concern for every member of the campus community; all share in upholding the fundamental values of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, responsibility and professionalism. Students are expected to complete course assignments in a manner that is consistent with the ethical standards of the Utah Valley University and the School of Education. You are expected to do your own work on assignments and examinations unless they are designed as collaborative efforts.  All course assignments and assessments, whether completed individually or collaboratively, should be generated from your own learning. Your work should not be copied from other students, Internet sites, or published materials. If you draw heavily from a particular source of information, that source should be credited and cited in your assignment (using APA style).


The University requires all members of the university community to familiarize themselves and to follow copyright and fair use requirements. You are individually and solely responsible for violations of copyright and fair use laws. The University will neither protect OR defend you, nor assume any responsibility for student violations of fair use laws. Violations of copyright laws could subject you to federal and state civil penalties and criminal liability, as well as disciplinary action.

Late Work Policy

Assignments will have a due date that is typically the following Thursday unless otherwise specified.  Students who are absent are responsible to submit previous weeks assignment via email on the appropriate due date.  Students are also responsible to determine what work was missed so the assignment due the next class is submitted on time.

Night 1: Thursday, October 25: Energy, What is it?  And The Relationship Between Force and Energy.


What is Energy?  A question answered not by what it is but instead by what it does.  Energy flows but it never disappears and it can manifest itself in many forms.  Because energy is found in living systems, physical systems and Earth systems, it provides a power way to view each and make comparisons.

5:00 - 5:20  Intro  to course and Force vs Work (Energy)
5:20 - 5:40  Conservation of Energy Activities
5:40 - 6:05  Forms of Energy and Kinetic vs Potential Energy
6:05 - 6:20  Transfer of Energy in Collisions
6:20 - 7:20 Using the “Energy Lens” to examine phenomena
7:20 - 7:45  Introduction to Phenomenon/3D Science Lesson Study Term Assignment.
7:45 - 8:00 Reflection

Homework:  Read the Following Articles from STEM Teaching Tools:

  1. Why Do We Need to Teach Science in Elementary School?. Answer the following: 1. Four reasons are stated why science should be taught in the elementary classroom.  Place the 4 in order of importance based on your opinion. Justify your selection order. If you feel there are other reason(s) for teaching science to that age group, please add to your list.   Based on reading “Things to Consider” share thoughts as to why students in high school often consider science to be “hard” and why a majority of graduates shy away from STEM majors and careers. What is a suggestion how science time can be carved out in the busy elementary schedule.?
  2. Using Phenomena in NGSS Designed Lessons and Units. Answer the following: 1. Summarize from the reading the characteristics of an appropriate phenomenon for use in science class.  2. What is the difference between an anchoring phenomenon and an investigative phenomenon?
  3. Summarize why the experts feel phenomena are so important for science instruction?
  4. What happens when phenomena are not central to science instruction?

Night 2: Thursday, November 1: Electrical Energy

For centuries man could only use mechanical and thermal energy until, by accident, it was discovered how to convert other forms of energy into useful electrical energy

5:00 - 5:15  Pre-assessment
5:15 - 5:30  Introduction to Phenomenon: Flip the Switch and Your Lights Turn On
5:30 - 5:40  Use of KLEWS Chart
5:40 - 6:10  Construct a Circuit
6:10 - 6:40 Simple Circuit to the United States Electrical Grid
6:40 - 7:05  Energy versus Power
7:05 - 7:30 Understanding Your Electric Bill
7:30 - 8:00 Reflection

Homework: Read KLEWS to Explanation-Building in Science by By Kimber Hershberger and Carla Zembal-Saul.  Answer the following: 1. The KLEWS chart was based on the KWL chart but with significant revision.  Identify and describe the specific differences and explain how it aligns with the Framework of Science and NGSS.  2. Discuss what the importance of the K column is. 3. The S column was the most recent revision. Why was it added? And What is the significance of it being the last column?  4. What is CER? How is its process and philosophy woven into KLEWS?

Night 3, Thursday, November 8: Energy from the Sun and Wind

The Earth receives energy from sun that until recent centuries could only be used directly by producer (photosynthetic) plants but now technology has allowed man to tap directly into the sun’s vast energy supply with photovoltaic solar and wind turbines.

5:00 - 5:15  Question and Answer Session about Lesson Study Project
5:15 - 5:30  Introduction to Phenomenon:  Bringing Electricity to 600 Million Africans who Lack it
5:30 - 6:30  Designing and Analyzing a Model of an African Home that is Solar Powered
6:30 - 7:45  Wind Turbine Competition

Homework:  Read: Using Crosscutting Concepts To Prompt Student Responses Science  Chap. 2 a&b, pp 11-15  then Read: BSCS_5E_Full_Report pp.1&2, p5 BSCS 5E Instructional Model - p. 11

Answer the following:  1. What does GRC and 5E stand for? 2. Are the two instructional models philosophically compatible or incompatible?  If compatible, explain specifically how components of one model are analogous to components of the other model. If incompatible,  describe the specific differences in approach and goals.

Night 4, Thursday, November 15: Thermal Energy

Thermal energy is involved in molecular motion and the phase of matter.  Heat is the process of moving thermal energy from higher to lower temperature locations.

Heat can be transferred by vibrations from one molecule to another that are in direct contact, movement of molecules from one location to another and by waves traveling through space.

5:00 - 6:30 Popcorn
6:30 - 8:00  Thermal Protection System

Homework: Work on Phenomenon/3D Science Lesson Study


Night 5, Thursday, November 29: Energy  in Earth  Systems: Weather  and Climate

The Earth receives all its energy from the sun but it is not evenly distributed over the
surface.  Because energy flows from areas of high energy to low energy, the Earth continuously experiences large movements of air masses and localized winds.  These movements of air are what cause different climates and ever changing weather.

5:00 - 5:45 Hot Equator to Cold Poles
5:45 - 7:00 Rainforests and Deserts
7:00-8:00  Snow in the Wasatch


Homework: Work on Phenomenon/3D Science Lesson Study

Night 6, Thursday, December 6: Illustrative Journaling

Hand illustrative journaling remains one of the most powerful tools used by scientists for recording observations.  The old adage that a picture is worth a 1000 words has both truth and fallacy associated with it. Looking at a photograph often leaves the viewer with missing elements and details of the recorded event.  A hand sketch forces the observer to attend to detail and think through how best to record the important details in ways that can be accurately reviewed later. Mark Elliot, a skilled artist has developed a very structured easy to follow means for even the “most untalented” person to create effective working illustrations for phenomena examination.
5:00 - 8:00 Illustrative Journaling with Mark Elliot


Homework: Work on Phenomenon/3D Science Lesson Study

Night 7, Thursday, December 13: Modeling Energy Flow with Hummingbird Robotics

Energy is a Cross Cutting Concept because energy flow and storage are found in physical, Earth and living systems.  Using Hummingbird Robotics, system energy flow can be modeled.

5:00 - 8:00 - Modeling Earth’s uneven heating with Hummingbirds

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