Energy Education & Outreach Course Offered

students and experiments in a lab

This Spring Oregon State University students have a chance to learn more about the art of teaching energy in special topics course BRR 299: Energy Education and Outreach. This is an excellent course for anyone interested in becoming a middle or high school teacher; informal science educators at a museum or science center; or doing community outreach. The classroom activities and discussions are put to the test when students will have a chance to teach lessons they developed to real, live middle school students. This is a fun, engaging and informative course, not to be missed. This three credit course will be offered Tuesday and Thursday, from 2:00 - 3:20. See more details from the course syllabus below.

Course Description:

Welcome to energy education! The course is aimed at students from all majors who are interested in:

  • Becoming a middle or high school science teacher
  • Becoming an informal science educator at a museum, science center, etc.
  • Becoming a professor/professional who engages in community outreach 
  • Gaining teaching experience

The purpose of this course is to provide information and experiences demonstrating the importance of energy education in both formal and informal settings.  Students will be engaged through relevant readings, activities and discussions.  Students will also gain practicum experience by developing and delivering an energy-related lesson to middle school students. 

Instructor: Jay Well,, 541-737-4651; Office hours by appointment

Essential Questions:

  • Why do we teach content related to energy (nature of science)?
  • What are different approaches and venues for teaching and learning about energy?
  • How can we integrate science concept understanding with project-based learning?
  • What are the essential elements of teaching a lesson?
  • How does learning theory impact our decisions when constructing lessons?
  • How do you assess student understanding in an informal setting?
  • How do questioning strategies influence student responses?

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the course, we expect that you will:

  • Be aware of career pathways within energy and science education.
  • Describe a personal pathway that incorporates individual interests with these fields.
  • Have and reflect on specific experiences developing and teaching a lesson to students.
  • Understand the general goals of science education at various levels.
  • Have a working knowledge of the basics of how people learn.
  • Be familiar with the general process of scientific inquiry.
  • Have practiced specific discourse and questioning strategies.
  • Understand basic elements of lesson planning.


  • Attendance.  Much of the course is run in-class (discussions, activities, etc.).  Contact the instructor for planned absences.
  • Participation.  It is important for everyone in the course to be actively involved in discussions and activities as well as to make significant contributions to the course.
  • Assignments.  All assignments must be turned in on or before their due date and time. For every day an assignment is late it will be lowered one full letter grade.
  • Readings.  The readings have been chosen to highlight the course topics.  Without the readings, you will not be able to intelligently participate in the discussions.
  • Integrity.  You are responsible for making yourself aware of OSU Academic Regulations.


The grading system consists of 12 grades (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-, and F).  You will be evaluated in the following way:

  • Participation and Attendance = 20%
  • Readings and written reflections = 20%
  • Lesson Plan – written and delivery = 30%
  • Non-traditional Sci. Ed. presentation = 15%
  • Personal Pathway Paper = 15%

Disabilities Statement:
Students with documented disabilities who may need accommodations, who have any emergency medical information the instructor should know of, or who need special arrangements in the event of evacuation, should make an appointment with the instructor as early as possible, no later than the first week of the term.

If you have questions about disability related accommodations please contact Disability Access Services ( in A200 Kerr Administration Building, 541-737-4098.

Equality in the Course
The instructor(s) are dedicated to establishing a learning environment that promotes diversity of all students’ races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations and physical abilities.  If you notice discriminatory behavior, or if you feel discriminated against, please bring it to the attention of the instructor(s).

Academic Integrity
The instructor(s) will hold you accountable to the highest standards of academic integrity.  Please read and understand the policies on academic integrity as published on the OSU website: