Capstone/Dissertation Title

Teaching Renewable Energy in High School Physics

Term

Summer 8-14-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAED: NSEE

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Susan Manikowski

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kevin Clemen

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Gretchen Sage-Martinson

Abstract

The research question for this capstone comes in two parts, can physics teaching help students understand the energy problems confronting society and can science teachers help students find ways to move toward solutions? This study attempts to determine the best methods to teach renewable energy concepts, energy conversions and conservation. It also explores ways to engage students in meaningful application of the concepts. Various methods of instruction are used throughout the study and documented in the literature research review. During the study students were given a pre and post content test along with an attitude survey on renewable energy. The results of the study found a significant increase on the content test. The attitude survey revealed positive increases toward renewable energy, and mixed results in behavior and policy changes. The study arrives at an optimistic conclusion that positive results can be achieved in the physics classroom with thoughtful planning.

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