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Abstract Title: Biology teachers' engagement with a physics model of energy flow
Abstract: In Energy Theater, people represent units of energy and locations on the floor represent objects in the system. Movement of people therefore represents the flow of energy. Biology teachers participating in a professional development activity used Energy Theater to model energy flow first in a physics setting and then in a biological ecosystem. Afterwards, they discussed the ways in which Energy Theater led to the modeling of ideas that  are not usually discussed in biology classrooms. For example, issues of energy conservation and thermal dissipation were typically not of importance to them, but required within the modeling activity. Our work shows differences in how physicists and biologists teach and discuss the NGSS crosscutting concept of energy flow. Our work also points out that there are productive and attainable ways for teachers to talk across disciplines in ways that helps students learn the crosscutting concepts of energy flow more effectively.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session II
Poster Number: B94

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Michael C. Wittmann
University of Maine
5709 Bennett Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5709
Phone: 2075811237
Co-Author(s)
and Co-Presenter(s)
Troy Whitaker, University of Maine