Design and Development of Innovative Physics Simulations and Teaching Materials for the Learning of the Concept of Energy

A. Pallas, H. Stavridou, and E. Triantafillou (Greece)


Energy, alternative ideas, modelization, simulation, visualization


This paper describes an innovative educational approach for the teaching of the concept of energy, by the use of 12 simulations developed with the educational software “Modellus”. The concept of energy is a very abstract concept and according to the literature, many secondary students face learning difficulties and develop alternative ideas that persist after teaching. The purpose of this work was the design and development of new learning materials (simulations, worksheets for the students, teacher guide) according to a constructivistic point of view, in order to help secondary students better understand various phenomena, apply the law of energy conservation in a satisfactory way and overcome their learning difficulties about energy. This educational approach is based on the modelization of energy with: a) the energy transfer model and b) the visualization of energy (stored in a system, or transferred from one system to another) with appropriate representations (bars and arrows). An example simulation of an experimental situation is presented and discussed, in order to show how students can interact with the simulation and work on the proposed learning activities.

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