OEP Energy Education Camps for K-12 Educators

About Energy Education Camps

OEP Energy Education Camps for Educators are comprised of five-day training sessions and activities and are offered free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. The camps provide information and resources needed to teach the science of energy and energy conservation in the classroom, while helping students to become leaders in their schools and communities. Camp activities address Tennessee science curriculum standards. They focus on creating real-world situations in the classroom and collecting and analyzing data, in order to evaluate and improve the school’s energy usage. In addition, special breakout sessions are conducted with grade-level clusters to ensure that all participating teachers leave the camps with ideas ready for their classrooms and how to conduct and submit a project in the NEED Youth Awards for Energy Achievement competition.

The dates and locations for the 2017 Energy Camps have been announced! View more information.

2016 Energy Education Camps

2016 Energy Education Camps were held at Montgomery Bell State Park from June 6-10 and Pickwick Landing State Park from June 13-17. In addition to addressing Tennessee science curriculum standards, the camps offered “team building” energy-related activities for teachers, such as energy bingo and the construction of solar ovens , model fuel cell cars, and energy houses . Furthermore, this year’s campers received educational products to utilize in their energy-related education lessons, including both Electric Circuits Kitbooks and Kill-A-Watt meters.


Angela McGee, Energy Camp Coordinator/Director

Lori Likins, Elementary Session Coordinator

Linda Phipps, Middle/High School Session Coordinator


The Electric Circuits Kitbook, a Tennessee-made educational tool, merges the features of a hands-on science kit with those of a textbook in the form of a single, self-contained educational tool. With the Kitbook, students are able to study electricity and simple circuits by testing what they learn in each lesson on an actual circuit board, built into the book. The creators of KitBook joined us at the Energy Camps to demonstrate how the KitBook is intended to be used and how they can be incorporated into lesson plans.  The curriculum supplement was designed to meet National Science Education Standards and covers the following topics:

What is electricity; electricity safety; definitions​ ​
Simple circuits
Conductors and insulators
Series circuits
Parallel circuits

Montgomery Bell Kitbook Presentation   Pickwick Kitbook Presentation

Kill-a-Watt meters are innovative tools for measuring plug loads. At this year’s camps, Energy Consultant Scott Slusher conducted an interactive lesson on measuring and reducing plug loads, and teachers used the Kill-a-Watt meters to measure various plug loads around the park. The lesson on plug loads was also shared with the teachers so that they can conduct similar demonstrations with their own students.

Montgomery Bell Energy Camp

Energy Camp Activities

Solar Bag Experiment

Solar Bag Experiment

Building a Fuel Cell Car

Middle/High School Session

Middle/High School Session

Elementary Session

Drinking Birds Demonstration


Energy House Competition

Teaching efficiency, conservation, and economic returns by using various recycled materials to insulate a cardboard house and then testing its efficiency.

  • Analyze your home design, the insulating materials you used, and energy savings. How efficient was your home at maintaining its temperature?  What would you do differently if you could design your house again? 
  • Compare your results with other groups.


Pickwick Energy Camp

Energy Camp Activities

Fuel Recovery Experiment

Solar Bag Demonstration

Melting Block Lesson

Measuring Plug Loads

Building a Fuel Cell Car

Building a Fuel Cell Car

Using Solar Energy to Make S'mores

Second Generation Energy Camper 


Energy House Competition



For information on 2016 Energy Camp activities or resources used, please contact Angela McGee at angela.mcgee@tn.gov or 615-532-7816.

2016 Energy Camp Feedback

Teacher Testimonial

"I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have been given to attend this year's TDEC Energy Conference for teachers. This week long content based conference has deepened my content knowledge in the areas of science & math and has even exposed me to areas of reading that I can incorporate into lessons.
Every activity, every lesson and conversation I had this week has strengthened my understanding of the content I teach, or has allowed me to tweak it to apply it to my grade level. Far to often I find that my District employs plenty of training in the area of instruction, but lacks in content. This conference has been essential in building my content knowledge and understanding and has allowed me the opportunity to engage and explore, which I generally have little time or opportunity to do. Throughout this week, I have planned and logged a minimum of 20 weeks of activities that I will be able to incorporate to my 4th grade science/STEM lessons, and enough to start a science club within my school.
Building on the concept of energy, I was also able to connect my Districts Operations Program Specialist to TDEC staff to help our district with energy usage. I am beyond excited to take back the information that I have gained this week to my building and share in the wealth of knowledge I now have. Using the concept of energy in various formats for our 4th grade content is essential in helping students understand the importance of usage and conservation. The activities and projects that I now have thanks to this conference will allow me to share this knowledge more confidently and with a deeper understanding that can be transferred to my students.
Every instructor we had this week was more than gracious in sharing their ideas, their knowledge and help to make sure that we understood every part of this week. Materials used this week were right on target, easy to use and appropriate for learning. Angela, I thank you so much for this opportunity and I am so grateful that I took advantage of this amazing opportunity to expand my world of science and education. Looking forward to next year and oh so happy to be on that email list! I will be sharing this plethora of knowledge with all that I can! Thank you, thank you!!!"  -Devon Jones, MInglewood Elementary School

Additional Feedback - Pickwick Camp 

"I enjoyed the Energy Camp for teachers at Pickwick very much. All of the workshop sessions were fabulous and right on with what I do in my classroom." -Tiffany Robertson, North Stewart Elementary school

“The break-out sessions were great! I went to K-3 with Lori! She gave us so many great ideas to use in the classroom! Many of the centers connected with my grade level SPI’s! I can use the ideas in science and connect to math. Energy Camp gets me excited about the new school year and all the opportunities we have to teach our kids about energy. Kit Book presentation was great!” -Karla Burns, Michie Elementary

“Energy Camp was amazing! The break-out grade level sessions were awesome. Every experiment can and will be used in the classroom. All the materials were greatly appreciated & very beneficial.  Energy Camp was awesome, and I can’t wait til next year. The presenters were great & very informative!” -Brandi Martz, Stigall Primary School

"I enjoyed the week learning about types of energy. Kit Books was awesome and exactly what we do for electricity in 4th grade. Hands-on activities were just what we need to be able to carry back to our classrooms -the materials will be of use as funds are becoming more limited -overall great experience!" -Cindy Barsch,Oak Elementary

“What an excellent camp you hosted! I was very impressed with the variety of hands-on experiments that you demonstrated, the guest speakers who simplified the rigorous concepts in their presentations, and your generosity in supplying us with the materials we'll need for our classrooms. Thank you so much for the comfortable stay, and the fellowship you encouraged with my peers. I'm sure to profit from this camp over the years to come.”  -Alfred Lloyd,Belle Forest Community School

“I was in the elementary sessions with Lori. She is an excellent facilitator! Her resources (webpage) and hands-on activities will be extremely useful in the actual classroom setting. The atmosphere was laid back with pleasant personalities in the leadership. Angela was very personable. Thank you for this amazing opportunity. This is a huge resource for teachers.” -Jamie Taylor,Martin Elementary 

Additional Feedback - Montgomery Bell Camp

"I would like to say Thank You for this wonderful week. This has been the best training camp for educators that I have ever been to. Linda's groups were wonderful and I love all the kits that I will be able to use in my classroom. I will be doing energy houses with my students this coming year. Energy Camp = Best week ever!!! I can't wait till next year." -Brian Clouse, Ketron Elementary

"This has been one of the best trainings I have ever attended. You had every component of making information easy to learn and retained. I enjoy being able to meet fellow educators from all over TN." -Christina Majors, Brown’s Chapel Elementary

"Enjoyed the exchange and opportunity to hear what educators are doing across grade levels!” -Cleo Thomas, Ridgeway Middle School

“Enjoyed this very much. Every guest speaker gave me information I did not have before.The pacing and organization was well thought out and just right. The location was amazing.” -Ruth Leonard, Sullivan South High School

"This camp was awesome. Not only did I learn so many more things and skills to use in my classroom but I was able to collaborate with other teachers. I loved the break out grade level sessions. We worked through various activities where we not only learned the activities but completed them ourselves. I will definitely be looking out for sign ups for future events.” -Melissa Moore, Vollentine Elementary

"Hands on grade level activities were awesome. All of the presenters were very prepared and energetic. Camp leaders were AWESOME. Loads of information to take back to our classrooms." -LeAnne Grissom, Westwood Day School

“This has been a very informative week! I’ve learned a lot & I’ve been challenged to invest more into energy education!” -Lucia Wheeler, Cockrill Elementary

"I loved the chance to do the labs, which were very thought out and displayed true science material. The facility was nice and the instructors were prepared and knowledgeable. I learned so many new things to apply in my classroom. I would highly recommend anyone else and will definitely be back. You guys are amazing!” -Michael Bowman, Rogersville City School


2017 Energy Camp 

The dates and locations of the 2017 Energy Camps are as follows:

Montgomery Bell State Park, June 13-15, 2017

Pickwick Landing State Park, June 20-22, 2017

To register for Energy Camp at Mongtomery Bell or Pickwick Landing, please complete the registration form and submit to Angela McGee via email (angela.mcgee@tn.gov) or fax  (615.741.5070).


 2017 Workshop Activities

From April 2017 - September 2017, OEP plans to conduct a series of Energy Workshops.  Details regarding these workshops will be made available as they are finalized.

For more information on 2017 Energy Camps and Workshops, please contact Angela McGee at angela.mcgee@tn.gov or 615-532-7816.