OEP Energy Education Camps & Workshops for K-12 Educators

About Energy Education Camps/Workshops

OEP Energy Education Camps and Workshops for Educators 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. 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.  Energy Camps and Workshops are offered free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis, and all activities address Tennessee science curriculum standards.

The 2017 Energy Camps were comprised of three-day training sessions.  Special breakout sessions were conducted with grade-level clusters to ensure that all participating teachers left the Camps with ideas for their classrooms.


View more information on 2017-2018 Energy Camp Workshops.

View 2016 Energy Education Camps.


2017 Energy Education Camps

2017 Energy Education Camps for Educators were held at Montgomery Bell State Park from June 13-15 and Pickwick Landing State Park from June 20-22. In addition to addressing Tennessee science curriculum standards, the camps offered “team building” energy-related activities for teachers, such as plug loads, a solar scavenger hunt, a game of Energy Jeopardy, and the construction of 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

Session Examples

(1) 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 it 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
Pickwick Kitbook Presentation          Pickwick Kitbook Presentation

(2) Kill-a-Watt meters are innovative tools for measuring plug loads. At this year’s camps, OEP 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.

(3) Energy House Competition.  Camp participants learned how to teach efficiency, conservation, and economic returns by using various recycled materials to insulate a cardboard “energy house” and then test its efficiency.  Participants focused on how efficient their homes were at maintaining a set temperature and what they would do differently if they could design their houses again.

Montgomery Bell Energy Camp

Energy Camp Activities

Building a Solar Oven


Experimenting with Solar Ed. Kit

Measuring Plug Loads

Wind Kits

Solar Beads


Energy House Competition

  • 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

Solar Balloon Demonstration

Electric Circuits

Electric Circuits

Melting Blocks

Melting Blocks

Energy Jeopardy

Energy Jeopardy



Energy House Competition

  • 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.


For information on 2017 Energy Camp activities or resources used, please contact Angela McGee at angela.mcgee@tn.gov or 615-532-7816.

2017 Energy Camp Feedback

Feedback - Pickwick Camp 

“I thoroughly enjoyed the camp and felt that the information and activities will be beneficial in facilitating the learning of my students and in helping me personally better understand science and energy in my daily world. I was able to meet and work with other educators, increasing my learning community.   Was able to develop concepts and ideas to better meet the needs of my students. I am excited about sharing what I learned with other educators. It was a wonderful experience from beginning to end.” Alyson Gunster, LaVergne Lake Elementary

“Wow!  I had no idea how fun it could be learning about ENERGY! I loved all the hands on activities.  I have learned so many ideas I can take back to help my students.  I met so many kind, helpful teachers from all over TN. The setting at Pickwick State Park was amazing.” Chris King, Smyrna Primary School

“Energy Camp was awesome.  Starting from the great ice breaker introduction to the final energy house competition.  The hands on activities were excellent and I loved walking away with materials I can use in my classroom.  I learned a lot about energy types and sources of energy.  I will encourage others at my school to attend.” –Malcolm Sanders, Millington Middle School

“Energy Camp 2017 was amazing and I must say that energy makes more sense.  I feel better equipped to teach what was shared, use the resources, and I also have a greater appreciation for natural resources.” –Catina Mack Roberts, Peabody Elementary

“I really enjoyed the energy camp! The presenters did an excellent job. I think the format and pacing was better than at any other workshop I've attended. I also appreciate that the activities presented came with a lesson plan and that they could be used with a variety of grade levels and topics. Mr. Basconi's kit book is one of a kind. I really wish there were other science concepts explained as simply and as thoroughly with a hand's on approach as he's done in his book. You've really created a workshop that can be applied in the classroom.” – Amy Steinbrink, Munford Middle School

“This was my first experience with Energy Camp.  I was extremely impressed. I enjoyed the new ideas that I will be able to take back to my classroom.  I also appreciate the materials I will be able to take back to my classroom and use with my students. The teaching staff  was very helpful and friendly. Thank you for your hard work” –Amy Martin, McNairy Elementary School

Feedback - Montgomery Bell Camp

“Thank you so much for inviting us to your camp again this year!  I always enjoy working with you, your team members and those wonderful teachers.  You and your small staff do such a great job with these camps.” –Ed Basconi, KitBook creator and instructor

“I thoroughly enjoyed Energy Camp. I learned so many new things from the presenters and the other teachers in my group. I will definitely recommend this opportunity to other teachers in my school and county.”  -Kim Simmons, Westview High School

“The camp was amazing, educational and fun. I have walked away with a multitude of hands on activities.” – Tara Smith, St. Joseph School

“I thoroughly enjoyed Energy Camp,  This is an awesome collaborative & team building camp for all educators.” – Tiffany Robertson, North Stewart Elementary

“Great job. Opened my mind to alternative sources of energy as well as how to use energy more efficiently.” -Debra Gann, McKissack Middle  School

“This has been the BEST PD I have ever participated in.  The activities were great and I can’t wait to try them in my classroom.  The fellowship with other science teachers has been inspiring and enlightening.”  -Leanne Shell, Etowah City School

“Accommodations - awesome, activities - great, pace -fantastic and the chance to collaborate was incredible! Super positive, comfortable-best I’ve been to on several levels in years.” –Brandy Helms, Covington Academy

“This camp was awesome.” –Levan Gardner, Booker T. Washington State Park Manager


2017-2018 Energy Camp Workshop Activities

From August 2017- September 2018, 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 Energy Camps and Workshops, please contact Angela McGee at angela.mcgee@tn.gov or 615-532-7816.