Potential vs. Kinetic Energy

This Potential vs. Kinetic Energy lesson plan also includes:

Legos in science class? Watch your pupils fall in love with this activity. After learning to measure potential and kinetic energy, young scientists create their own ramps using Lego Mindstorm sensors and software.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • After introducing, encourage students to come up with other designs on their own time
  • Assign different challenges: group to get the KE closest to equaling PE, group to get the KE furthest from PE, group with tallest structure, group with longest structure, etc.
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Lego Mindstorm Kit and software
  • Presumes class members have knowledge in measurement, basic algebra, experience with Lego Mindstorm, and use of Mindstorm software
  • Rearrange desks to make room for building projects
Pros

  • Engaging and memorable lab experiment
  • Many extension opportunities
Cons

  • Formatting issues throughout, but does not impact content
Common Core