Energy Teaching Resources for SKE

Developing the new @SotonEd Subject Knowledge Enhancement course has led to a renewed collation of teaching resources. The Energy unit is a distance-learning component, so trainee teachers will access these resources, with a little bit of written introduction and some instructions. They will then use the resources and complete tasks before receiving online feedback from a tutor. Each unit needs to be 25 hours of work.

Whilst there will be some resources produced ‘in-house’, mostly the idea is to make use of existing material.

Once the course is properly established, I’d quite like to put all the materials / links to materials online so that other trainee, or qualified, teachers can access them, but for now this is just a list as part of a request for other suggestions. If you have any good ideas, please tweet me rather than commenting – that’s easier for me to see.


We’ll start with energy resources as that’s very accessible and science graduates, whatever their background, will have a fair bit of prior knowledge.

Read articles (I still need to source these) as well as relevant textbook chapters on greenhouse gases, climate change, particulates and air pollution, SO2 and acid rain, ozone layer and CFCs. In many cases things have moved on (like the ban on CFCs) and trainee teachers may be out of date.

Pros and cons of renewable and non-renewable energy resources – produce a table and a short written argument for and against using scaffolding resources, also a “but, because, so” exercise and similar.

Nuclear power, again some reading and a short written argument, I think. I’d also like a set of MCQs to help iron out any misconceptions.

Read the synopsis of Without the Hot Air and make appropriate notes. We also have a bunch of hard copies of the full book, so I’ll post those out to anyone who wants them.

Get them to monitor the contributions to UK electricity over a week (this by the way, is awesome ) and summarise the data as a line graph. Explain their choice of graph at a level appropriate for Y7!!!

Feynman lecture excerpt (something like 2:15-4:25 here )

Robin Millar article on teaching energy

I thought about the @charlesmtracey detailed TalkPhysics series but concluded it was too in-depth – I think I’ll just flag it up as optional further reading for anyone not persuaded by Feynman and Millar.

Some short videos I’ve made based on the Practical Physics, Introducing Energy resources My original attempts from a ‘snow day’ are tediously long and I’ve chopped my head off (possibly an advantage?) so I’m going to have another go at these.

Read the relevant chapters in the two course textbooks (Physics for You and Complete Physics)

Read chapter on energy in @BenRogersEdu marvellous Big Ideas book and complete all the student activities

The trainee teachers won’t necessarily have done circuits prior to this energy unit, so I need to make sure P=IV is covered in some way. I don’t want to go into the relationship between energy and voltage, though, we’ll just treat IV as a way to measure power transferred by an electrical pathway.

BBC Bitesize from KS3 and GCSE.

Seneca Learn sections of GCSE Higher Tier

Selected questions from the textbooks (nearly all of them).

If anyone is struggling with basic calculations then the FreeScienceLessons videos are perhaps not the most exciting but they are very clear

Hopefully, Ruth Walker’s SLOP Energy questions but these are currently offline for maintenance, I think.

All the appropriate ExamPro questions that I can find.

I need to check that the exemplar situations in the AQA Physics GCSE spec are well-covered. I might add a separate worksheet asking for a series of labelled diagrams and extended writing on each of these.

Home experiment to measure the specific heat capacity of water using an electric kettle with known power rating (and why the results are likely to be crap).

Home experiment to get a hysteresis curve for a rubber band.

Something on exothermic and endothermic reactions to link with chemistry.

Adam Boxer’s SLOP questions on Energy Changes in Chemistry

Something on energy in biology – photosynthesis and respiration, food chains/webs, pyramids of biomass, surface to volume ratio. I’m not sure quite how to do this bit at the moment, nor how much to include.

I’m grateful for any and all suggestions. Please tweet @dodiscimus

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