Energy is Energy: A two-part Workshop on a Consistent Approach in Bio, Chem, and Physics


Led by Mark Schober & Donghong Sun

Students often struggle with understanding energy and comprehending its crucial role in all science disciplines. This workshop will show you how to build a consistent model for energy across bio, chem, and physics. You will explore key methods to help students understand how energy, a key cross-cutting concept in the Next Generation Science Standards, can be represented by the unified idea of energy storage and transfer in the physical and biological world. We will use a simple but powerful representation tool, the Conservation of Energy (COE) diagram, to qualitatively keep track of energy in various changes. This graphical, visual approach eliminates the conflicts among the ways energy is usually taught in bio, chem, and physics, thus helping students build a deep, applicable understanding of this important concept as they study the various disciplines from 6th through 12th grade.