Design and Implementation of an Einsteinian Energy Learning Module

Shachar Boublil, David Blair, David F. Treagust

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The most famous equation in physics, E = mc2, is rarely introduced in middle school physics curricula. Recent research has shown that teaching Einsteinian concepts at the middle school level is feasible and beneficial. This paper analyses an Einsteinian energy teaching module for Year 8 students (13–14 years old), which encompasses the two fundamental energy formulas in modern physics, E = mc2 and E = hf. In the context of activity-based learning, the Einsteinian energy module relates to all the forms of energy in traditional school curricula. This study uses a design-based research approach within the Model of Educational Reconstruction framework. Modern experiments, historical events, and educational research helped us identify relevant Einsteinian energy concepts, activities, and assessments. The study included 22 students who participated in nine in-class Einsteinian energy lessons. Analysing results in the post-test showed a 31% mean increase from the pre-test, a clear and significant positive change in students’ conceptual understanding. The results demonstrated students’ ability to deal with very large and small constants of proportionality and physical concepts involved in the module.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-72
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number1
Early online date1 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


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