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The Physics Teacher
written by Lane Seeley, Kara E. Gray, and Amy D. Robertson
The Next Generation Science Standards lay out a model of energy that locates energy within objects and fields, and tracks energy as it transfers between these objects and transforms between forms of energy while always being conserved. This model of energy pervades much of modern science and represents a foundational, cross-cutting concept for students. However, because it is abstract, energy is a very difficult topic for most students to learn. We have developed Energy Cubes to help make energy more concrete for students. Energy Cubes allow groups of learners to represent the dynamic energy changes in real-world scenarios by moving and flipping cubes on a horizontal shared workspace. While Energy Cubes are accessible for elementary students, with carefully chosen scenarios we have found that Energy Cubes promote sophisticated and rigorous reasoning and argumentation among learners at all grade levels.
The Physics Teacher: Volume 59, Issue 2, Pages 89-93
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Work and Energy
= Conservation of Energy
Education - Applied Research
- Active Learning
= Modeling
- Instructional Material Design
= Activity
- Pedagogy
Education - Basic Research
- Learning Theory
= Cognitive Modeling
General Physics
- Scientific Reasoning
Thermo & Stat Mech
- First Law
= Heat Transfer
- Middle School
- High School
- Elementary School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Instructional Material
= Activity
PER-Central Types Intended Users Ratings
- Curriculum
- Curriculum / Student Activity
- Educators
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© 2021 American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT)
Energy Project, Law of Conservation of Energy, energy conversion, energy models, energy transfer, modeling energy
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created February 3, 2023 by Sam McKagan
Record Updated:
February 9, 2023 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 11, 2021
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
L. Seeley, K. Gray, and A. Robertson, , Phys. Teach. 59 (2), 89 (2021), WWW Document, (https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457).
L. Seeley, K. Gray, and A. Robertson, Energy Cubes, Phys. Teach. 59 (2), 89 (2021), <https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457>.
APA Format
Seeley, L., Gray, K., & Robertson, A. (2021, February 11). Energy Cubes. Phys. Teach., 59(2), 89-93. Retrieved September 25, 2023, from https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457
Chicago Format
Seeley, L, K. Gray, and A. Robertson. "Energy Cubes." Phys. Teach. 59, no. 2, (February 11, 2021): 89-93, https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457 (accessed 25 September 2023).
MLA Format
Seeley, Lane, Kara Gray, and Amy Robertson. "Energy Cubes." Phys. Teach. 59.2 (2021): 89-93. 25 Sep. 2023 <https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457>.
BibTeX Export Format
@article{ Author = "Lane Seeley and Kara Gray and Amy Robertson", Title = {Energy Cubes}, Journal = {Phys. Teach.}, Volume = {59}, Number = {2}, Pages = {89-93}, Month = {February}, Year = {2021} }
Refer Export Format

%A Lane Seeley %A Kara Gray %A Amy Robertson %T Energy Cubes %J Phys. Teach. %V 59 %N 2 %D February 11, 2021 %P 89-93 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457 %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Journal Article %A Seeley, Lane %A Gray, Kara %A Robertson, Amy %D February 11, 2021 %T Energy Cubes %J Phys. Teach. %V 59 %N 2 %P 89-93 %8 February 11, 2021 %U https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0003457

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Energy Cubes:

Is Associated With Energy Theater

Link to "Energy Theater", one of the trio of instructional resources that make up the "Energy Project" teaching method.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Associated With Energy Tracking Diagrams

Link to "Energy Tracking Diagrams", one of the trio of instructional resources that make up the "Energy Project" teaching method.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is Associated With Animating Energy: Stop-Motion Animation and Energy Tracking Representations

Link to the activity on stop-motion animating of energy, also part of the "Energy Project" suite of activities.

relation by Caroline Hall

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