Potential Energy Teacher Resources
Find Potential Energy educational ideas and activities
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Investigating Kinetic and Potential Energy
Students examine the differences between potential and kinetic energy. In this potential energy lesson students watch a video and complete an in class investigation.
Kinetic and Potential Energy
In this kinetic and potential energy worksheet, students read for information and evaluate comprehension. In this multiple choice and fill in the blanks worksheet, students answer fifteen questions.
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.
You will need to prepare either a class set or a single demonstration catapult in order to teach this powerful lesson plan 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.
TE Lesson: Kinetic and Potential Energy of Motion
Middle schoolers investigate the difference between potential and kinetic energy. They examine the formulae associated with both types of energy. They complete how quickly a pendulum with swing by converting potential energy into kinetic energy.
Gravitational Potential Energy
In this energy worksheet, students use the gravitational potential energy equation to solve for mass, height, or free-fall acceleration. This worksheet has 10 problems to solve.
Kinetic Vs. Potential Energy
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.
Kinetic and Potential Energy
Learners examine energy sources. In this kinetic and potential energy instructional activity, students conduct investigations to show how toys produce the two types of energy. Learners also draw a picture of a skateboarder and label the examples of kinetic and potential energy.
Potential Energy: How is It Related to Kinetic Energy?
Students examine the relationship between potential energy and kinetic energy. They explore how the greater the input of potential energy (altitude of the ramp), the greater the output of kinetic energy (distance traveled).
Energy At Play
If you can find Tinker Toys™, then this may be a fun assignment for your physical science class. Using the construction set and a few other toys, they examine the forces involved when it they are being played with. For each, they determine how potential energy is stored, when kinetic energy is in action, and how energy is transferred. The instructional activity is long and materials heavy, but if you prepare a kit with the materials, you can use it over and over again to help you teach energy.
Learners 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.
A Hilly Ride
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.
All Work and No Play Lab
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.
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.
Let's Outrage the Bull
Students study kinetic and potential energy. In this energy instructional activity, students in grades K-2 understand the differences between kinetic and potential energy. Students 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.
Work and Energy: Forms and Changes
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.
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.
Up and Down Designs: Roller Coaster Rides
Ninth graders demonstrate the difference between potential and kinetic energy. In this inquiry based physics lesson, 9th graders design and build a model of a roller coaster using foam tubing to show how mass and height affect the potential energy of an object. This lesson includes differentiated instructional support, learning strategies, and extension ideas.
Relationship between Potential and Kinetic Energy
Fifth graders explore the relationship between potential energy and kinetic energy. In this energy lesson plan, 5th graders examine objects and describe potential and kinetic energy of the objects. Students complete two worksheets.
Roller Coaster Science
Students explore concepts related to energy and motion. They identify and manipulate the effects of gravity, momentum, friction, potential energy, and kinetic energy.