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Potential Energy Teacher Resources
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Students discover the effect of height and weight on potential energy. In this potential energy lesson, students engage in several mini-experiments where they explore this relationship. Each activity has various ways to identify the two factors that effect potential energy.
Your introductory physical science class will be energized by this PowerPoint. They will be able to define energy, work, and power. They will be able to perform calculations for kinetic and potential energy. They will be able to describe the various simple machines and forms of energy. Truly, this selection of 71 slides can serve as a note-taking guide for several lessons on energy and work. Make sure to break it up with hands-on experience using simple machines and pendulums.
You will need to prepare either a class set or a single demonstration catapult in order to teach this powerful lesson on kinetic and potential energy. Activity sheets are provided to walk learners through the construction of a catapult. If you choose to teach via demonstration, you can jump straight to Activity Sheet 3, on which is a data table for recording distances. Different features of the catapult are varied for comparison. A vocabulary list and challenge questions are provided.
Different types of energy are the focus of this science resource. Learners identify situations in which kinetic and potential energy are exchanged. They conduct an in-class inquiry which leads them to discover that there is a limit to the amount of kinetic energy gained in any energy transfer. They see that friction is what makes the energy transfer possible.
This variation of a pendulum allows the bob to keep moving as the pendulum hits a crossbar. Lab groups experiment with the release height and compare the horizontal distance from the crossbar in order to learn about kinetic and potential energy. Data tables are provided for recording results, which individuals create a graph for when they are finished. This classic activity is appropriate for junior high or beginning high school physical science classes.
Don't let the term, "slotted wood board" detract you from the value of this experiment. Class members tie a string to a cart and, with even horizontal force, drag it up an inclined plane. The objective is to compare the work done with the change in potential energy. Note: special equipment is required, either a force scale or computer-interfaced force probe. Make sure to check out the fabulous reading materials available via the embedded links.
Eighth graders listen to a teacher lecture and observe a demonstration of both potential energy and stored energy. After discussing the characteristics and examples of different types of energy, 8th graders make predictions and then perform experiments with rubber bands to model kinetic energy. Students discuss the results of their lab.
Students engage in an activity which demonstrates how potential energy (PE) can be converted to kinetic energy (KE) and back again. Given a pendulum height, students calculate and predict how fast the pendulum will swing by understanding conservation of energy and using the equations for PE and KE. Excellent worksheets which accompany the experiment are imbedded in this plan.
Watch your class reach its potential (energy) with this activity. In groups of three, elementary school scientists place a golf ball on a ramp: 5cm from the bottom, then 10 cm, and then 15 cm. They let it roll and measure the distance beyond the ramp where it came to rest. Discuss as a class or have older children write answers to the questions listed on the lab sheet. This classic lesson on kinetic and potential energy is even more easily taught using this guide.
Students drop water from different heights to demonstrate the conversion of water's potential energy to kinetic energy. They see how varying the height from which water is dropped affects the splash size. In seeing how falling water can be used to do work, they also learn how this energy transformation figures into the engineering design and construction of hydroelectric power plants, dams and reservoirs.
Learners study kinetic and potential energy. In this energy lesson, students in grades K-2 understand the differences between kinetic and potential energy. Learners in grades 3-5 demonstrate that kinetic and potential energy. Students in grades 6-8 design and explain how acceleration, gravity and momentum are used in kinetic and potential energy.
Third graders investigate different energy conversions through hands-on activities. In this energy lesson, 3rd graders move through four stations and conduct experiments illustrating energy conversions. Wave energy, chemical energy, electric energy, and converting potential energy into kinetic energy are included.