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Grade Five
What are kinetic and potential energy?

Learn more about these two main types of energy. Click on these web pages to see examples and to get ideas for your own investigations.
 
 

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Title: Energy State Park
Description: Students love skateboards! This webpage host a Java Applet simulation that allows students to design their own virtual skateboard and see how well it works. The student user is able to build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as he moves. This webpage will give students a visual conceptual learning experience.
URL: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/energy-skate-pa ...

Title: Potential Energy on Shelves Gizmo
Description: Use this simulation to see that two objects at different heights can have the same potential energy, and two objects at the same height can have different potential energy. Graphs and tables included. (First 5 mins free; then use a free 30-day trial.)
URL: https://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?method=cResou ...

Title: Whoahler Coaster
Description: The interactive game called the "Whoahler Coaster!" on this website is a part of the PBS Kids collection of fun and educational games. This coaster game provides a great challenge, where students need to learn how to handle the buildup of potential energy and the release of kinetic energy in a safe way that won't harm the coaster riders. Each test of the virtual coaster shows students what can happen if they don't make sure that the change from potential to kinetic is gradual enough. The game is conceptually clear, well designed and developmentally appropriate for elementary school age students.
URL: http://pbskids.org/fetch/games/coaster/index.html

Title: Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride
Description: This interactive roller coaster ride produced for Teachers' Domain on this website illustrates the relationship between potential and kinetic energy. As the coaster cars go up and down the hills and around the loop of the track, a pie chart shows how energy is transformed back and forth between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. Clicking the play button on the video image on the homepage brings students to an interactive roller coaster video. This video lets students step through each stage of the roller coaster ride and view the percentage of potential versus kinetic energy at that stage in the ride along with the actual speed of the cart itself. While the energy roller coaster ride serves as the centerpiece of this page, the webpage also offers other valuable resources like curriculum topics, support materials like classroom questions and essays, and related content links.
URL: https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/hew06.sci.phy ...

Title: Amusement Park Physics- Roller Coaster
Description: Once you have learned about kinetic and potential energy, design and test your own roller coaster with this virtual design lab. Find out whether your design passes the fun and safety tests. The site comes complete with a glossary.
URL: http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/coaster ...

Title: The Science of Surfing
Description: There’s a great deal of physics behind riding a wave. Let’s take a look at a few places where physics and surfing meet.
URL: http://www.exploratorium.edu/theworld/surfing/physics/i ...

Title: Video-9 Kinetic Energy
Description: Kinetic energy is the energy of motion, which is the subject of this explanatory this 4:48 minute video clip. The site’s infrastructure presents information with bright colors and animated action. The video animation is conceptually clear, well designed and developmentally appropriate for elementary school age children.
URL: https://www.neok12.com/Energy-and-Work.htm

Title: Conservation of Energy
Description: This video explores the basics of three common forms of energy: kinetic, potential, and elastic. Watch as a circus act demonstrates the relationship between all three.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/program/retired-site/

Title: Cat-Traption
Description: The "Rube Goldberg" style virtual machine on this webpage incorporates most types of possible energy transfers and conversions into a chain reaction. The action starts with a cat playing with a feather and ends several steps later with the cat happily feasting on the edible results. Through the course of the Cat-Traption, energy is transferred from one thing to another many times.
URL: http://www.learner.org/workshops/energy/cattraption/cat ...

Title: The Frictionless Bowl
Description: This webpage host an interactive applet displaying a virtual 5.3 gram marble in a rather large frictionless bowl and challenges the student to determine the velocity of the marble at the bottom of the bowl. Teachers can insert this applet into their interactive presentations when teaching a unit on energy and motion, or assign the site to students to use on their own.
URL: http://www2.swgc.mun.ca/physics/physlets/bowl.html

Title: Two Main Forms of Energy
Description: In strict scientific terms energy is classified into two main forms: kinetic and potential energy. This content page discusses various forms of potential energy, evidence of energy, and thermal energy, and includes a link to discussion of misconceptions.
URL: https://www4.uwsp.edu/cnr/wcee/keep/Mod1/Whatis/energyf ...

Title: The History of Engines: How Steam Engines Work
Description: How do steam engines work? Why aren't cars powered by steam? What does steam have to do with a nuclear power plant? Find out the answers here!
URL: https://www.thoughtco.com/steam-engines-history-1991933

Title: Science of the Olympic Winter Games: Slapshot Physics (Hockey)
Description: Video demonstrating the physics of the slapshot in hockey. Slow motion replays illustrate how the athlete and the hockey stick are able to impart energy to the puck. Concepts of elastic collisions, momentum transfer, and potential energy are used to describe the steps in executing a slapshot.
URL: https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/olympics/slaps ...

Title: Science of the Olympic Winter Games: Science of Snowboarding
Description: This four minute video explains how snowboarders in the half-pipe transfer potential energy to kinetic energy and back again to attain maximum height for their tricks.
URL: https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/olympics/snowb ...

Title: Real World: Work, Force, Energy and Motion
Description: In this 8:51 minute narrated NASA video segment learn how to calculate the force, energy, motion and work of an object. Find out how these properties compare with one other. Color animation is used to demonstrate how to calculate each property using proper units of measurement. This video segment also explains the difference between potential and kinetic energy as well as how to calculate gravitational potential energy. Examples are provided throughout the segment for clarification.
URL: http://www.watchknowlearn.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=29440& ...

Title: Bouncing Ball
Description: In this virtual lab students can drop a virtual ball onto one of the three surfaces to test the bounce height and observe how the potential and kinetic energy rises and falls over time. This webpage will give students a simulated, virtual lab experience they might otherwise not be able to engage in due to time restraints or lack of material.
URL: http://freezeray.com/flashFiles/bouncingBall.htm

Title: Kinetic and Potential Energy Conversions
Description: This webpage allows students to take a look at some examples of how potential and kinetic energy can be converted from one to another. The webpage’s infrastructure consists of text supported by images and graphics that facilitate conceptual understanding of content. A print friendly version of the content of this site is also available.
URL: https://synergyscience.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/kinetic ...

Title: Bouncing Balls
Description: Various types of balls are dropped and the ability to bounce is compared. The effect of temperature on a ball's bouncing ability is tested by putting the balls in a freezer. In addition, it explains how a ball's molecular makeup determines its ability to bounce.
URL: https://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/bouncing_balls.h ...

Title: Potential and Kinetic Energy
Description: With the aid of an interactive Java Applet this webpage is about potential and kinetic energies. In the applet a mass is dropped from different heights. When the mass strikes the ground, some percentage of its original energy will be absorbed by the ground and the percentage of the energy which is absorbed by the surface on each bounce. Teachers can insert this applet into their interactive presentations and/or assign the site to students as a tutorial or for reinforcement of content purposes.
URL: http://zebu.uoregon.edu/1998/ph101/pe1.html

Title: How Mountain Bikes Work
Description: What makes a mountain bike different from traditional ones? This article describes their gears, frame, suspension, and braking system.
URL: https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/outdoor-activities/ ...

Title: How Force, Power, Torque, and Energy Work
Description: Mass, force, torque, work, power, and energy. What do these words really mean, and are they interchangeable? In this edition of HowStuffWorks, we will help to bring all of this terminology together.
URL: https://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-parts/towing/towing ...

Title: Forms of Energy Basics
Description: Here you will learn about potential and kinetic energy forms.
URL: https://www.eia.gov/kids/energy.php?page=about_forms_of ...

Title: Energy of Rolling Ball on a Hill
Description: This webpage host two animations. The first animation shows a ball rolling down a hill while the force of friction acts on the ball. The second animation shows the same ball rolling down the same hill but this time friction has been removed. Teachers can insert these two animations into their interactive presentations and/or assign the page to students to view on their own.
URL: http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/physics/phys02/rolli ...

Title: Energy of a Roller Coaster
Description: This webpage host an animation design to teach the physics of energy changes seen in the movement of a roller coaster car down a virtual track. Teachers can insert this animation into their interactive presentations and/or assign the site to students to view on their own.
URL: http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/physics/phys02/rolco ...

Title: Energy of a Pendulum
Description: This page challenges students to answer two investigative questions presented in an animation where the user sees a mass attached to the end of a string which forms a pendulum. The pendulum begins with only gravitational potential energy (GPE). After being released, GPE is turned into kinetic energy (KE). Teachers can insert this animation into their interactive presentations and/or assign the site to students to use on their own.
URL: http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/physics/phys02/pend/ ...

Title: Energy of a Pendulum
Description: Watch a pendulum swing from side to side and see how potential and kinetic energy work.
URL: http://www.sciencejoywagon.com/physicszone/

Title: Gravitational Potential Energy Formula Puzzle
Description: This webpage host an interactive puzzle applet game. The formula used to solve for the potential energy due to gravity is broken into nine tiles that make up the picture. When the user presses the 'Start' button, the tiles will scramble themselves, and one of them will become a blank, dark tile. The user’s job is to get the picture back to normal by sliding the tiles about. This is a good game to assign to visual learners to help them remember the gravitational potential energy formula.
URL: http://zonalandeducation.com/puzzles/scramble/Ug1/UgScr ...

Title: Energy of a Pendulum Gizmo
Description: Perform experiments with a pendulum to explore energy conservation. Several variables can be adjusted. Potential and kinetic energies are shown. Click “Exploration Guide” for lesson directions. NOTE: First five minutes free, then a 30-day free trial.
URL: https://www.explorelearning.com/index.cfm?method=cResou ...

Title: Energy Skate Park
Description: With this lesson, students learn about conservation of energy with a skateboarding simulation. Students build tracks, ramps, and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as he moves. There are tacher-suggested lessons using the simulation.
URL: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/energy-skate-pa ...

Title: Swinging Pendulum
Description: Using pendulum motion as a context, this activity demonstrates how potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy and back again. The activity has an engineering context.
URL: https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/cub_en ...

Title: Exploring Energy
Description: In this unit consisting of several lessons and activities, students explore the the concepts of kinetic energy, potential energy and energy transfer and apply these concepts to engineering projects.
URL: https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/u ...

Title: The Ultimate Roller Coaster Contest
Description: Design a roller coaster made of cardboard, and analyze the energy of the tennis ball on your course. Questions prompt you to engage with science concepts. Don’t miss the RealPlayer Roller Coaster video clip.
URL: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/free-lesson- ...

Title: Avalanche! Elements of a Slide
Description: Snow slides –or avalanches- are responsible for more deaths each year than earthquakes. Use this site to learn about snow conditions that contribute to avalanche danger and pose significant problems in the mountains each winter.
URL: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/avalanche/elements.html

Title: environmental literacy and inquiry
Description: Energy is an interdisciplinary technology-supported middle school inquiry unit. Students use geospatial information technology (GIT), My World GIS, Google Earth and inquiry bases labs to investigate energy sources, production and consumption. There is also a Land Use Change curriculum where lessons involve human activities influencing environmental changes related to land use. The climate curricula is still under development.
URL: http://ei.lehigh.edu/eli/energy/

Title: Putting It All Together Activity
Description: Students create a Rube Goldberg-type device that incorporates at least 10 steps to put a marble in a cup.
URL: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/mater ...

Title: Energy Education
Description: Find lesson plans, labs, and projects for grades K-12 on the importance of green energy.
URL: https://energy.gov/education-toolbox/search

Title: Move It! Conservation of Energy & Energy Transfer in Crashes
Description: Explore how energy is transferred in an impact situation such as a car crash. The lesson also differentiates between kinetic and potential energy.
URL: https://www.teachengineering.org/lessons/view/duk_conse ...

Title: Gravitational Potential Energy
Description: The interactive simulation on this website can be used to demonstrate gravitational potential energy and its conversion into kinetic energy. Simulation features a painter, a ladder, and two buckets of paint with different masses. Students click on the paint can, click and drag the painter up the ladder and a virtual meter shows the potential energy. Clicking "Go" and the painter drops the can and the meter then shows that the energy is now kinetic and it is the same amount as the potential energy. The simulation will automatically play after it loads into the browser window. A point-and-click interface is used; the user can click buttons and drag sliders to control variables and the simulation responds dynamically. Teachers can use this simulation to help make the abstract scientific idea of gravitational potential energy and its conversion into kinetic energy visible and concrete.
URL: https://www.edutoolbox.org/?migrated_site=tncurriculumc ...

Title: Potential Energy, Kinetic Energy and Frictional Energy Dissipation: Roller Coaster Virtual Work-Bench
Description: The roller coaster applet on this website is designed to give users an entertaining way of examining the principle of conservation of energy. Students (teachers) can build their own roller coaster, and are able to observe the interplay between potential and kinetic energy. A point-and-click interface is used; the user can click buttons and drag sliders to control variables and the applet responds dynamically. On the left side of the interactive there is a region composed of a matrix of dots. This is where the students will build their roller coasters. A complete set of easy to follow directions are given for constructing the virtual coaster and for using it to study potential and kinetic energies are given. This is a great resource for teachers who wish to give their students a terrific virtual educational experience.
URL: http://www.mhhe.com/physsci/physical/giambattista/rolle ...

Title: All About Energy Quest
Description: Are you looking for activites, games, information, history, biographies, etc? This page has it all. It is divided into parts for all grade levels.
URL: http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/

Title: Potential and Kinetic Energy
Description: What is kinetic energy? What is potential energy? How do they change? This experiment will help your fourth-sixth grade students understand the difference and change.
URL: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/physical16.html

Title: Energy Efficiency Education
Description: This page contains seven activities on saving energy and energy-efficient homes.
URL: https://www.bpa.gov/Pages/home.aspx

Title: Potential Energy
Description: This web-based applet teaches the user concepts about potential energy. It allows the user to use different combinations of total energies and masses. The mass is raised to the appropriate height and is dropped and bounces off an energy absorbing surface. The applet demonstrates conservation of energy, conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy, and that objects of different mass when dropped from the same height, impact the ground at the same velocity. A point-and-click interface is used; the user can click buttons and drag sliders to control variables and the applet responds dynamically. Teachers can insert this applet into their interactive classroom presentations and/or they can assign the site to students as a class exercise.
URL: http://zebu.uoregon.edu/nsf/pe.html

Title: Watch Know Learn Videos
Description: This website offers a nice collection of educational videos across a large assortment of content subjects, such as life sciences, chemistry and physics. Under the potential and kinetic energy section, teachers and students will find two pages of links to videos created by organizations like Scholastic Media, NASA, Jason Science and more. The site infrastructure contains clickable links from the table of contents to specific videos organized by both title and discipline. Teachers and students can use the video clips accessed from this website to help make abstract scientific concepts of potential and kinetic energies visible and concrete.
URL: http://www.watchknowlearn.org/Category.aspx?CategoryID= ...

Title: Potential and Kinetic Energy
Description: This webpage contains three free downloadable printable worksheets. The objective of these printable worksheets is to assist students in learning the difference between potential and kinetic energy (lesson plan and background information are included).
URL: https://www.teachervision.com/science/printable/2647.ht ...

Title: Potential and Kinetic Energy
Description: This 6.07 minute narrated video clip explains the difference between potential and kinetic gravitational energy. The narrator also uses physics to calculate the energy in various objects. Teachers can use the video clip on this webpage to help make the abstract scientific ideas of potential and kinetic energies visible and concrete.
URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSWl_Zj-CZs

Title: Kinetic and Potential Energy of Motion
Description: In this lesson, students are introduced to both potential energy and kinetic energy as forms of mechanical energy. A hands-on activity demonstrates how potential energy can change into kinetic energy by swinging a pendulum, illustrating the concept of conservation of energy. Students are able to calculate the potential energy of the pendulum and predict how fast it will travel knowing that the potential energy will convert into kinetic energy. They verify their predictions by measuring the speed of the pendulum. The content of the lesson is covered under the following topical headings: learning objectives, introduction/motivation, background, vocabulary, associated activities, lesson closure, assessment, extension activities, and references.
URL: https://www.teachengineering.org/lessons/view/cub_energ ...

Title: Energy of Motion
Description: By taking a look at the energy of motion all around us, students learn about the types of energy and their characteristics. They first learn about the two simplest forms of mechanical energy: kinetic and potential energy, as illustrated by pendulums and roller coasters. They come to understand that energy can change from one form into another, and be described and determined by equations. The site infrastructure contains clickable links from the table of contents to specific lessons. This website is a good starting place for educators looking for a variety of kinetic/potential energy information located on the World Wide Web to incorporate into their classroom curricula.
URL: https://www.teachengineering.org/curricularunits/view/c ...

Title: The Physics of Cross-Country Skiing
Description: Downhill skiing is a classic illustration of the relationship between work and energy. The skier begins at an elevated position, thus possessing a large quantity of potential energy. As the skier begins the descent down the hill, potential energy is lost and kinetic energy is gained. The friction force, sometimes known as a dissipative force, does work upon the skier in order to decrease total mechanical energy. Thus, as the force of friction acts over an increasing distance, the quantity of work increases and the mechanical energy of the skier gradually dissipate ultimately the skier runs out of energy and come to a rest position. This intricate relationship between work and mechanical energy is depicted in the animation on this webpage. Teachers can insert this animation into their interactive classroom presentations and/or they can assign the site to students as a visual tutorial.
URL: http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/sarah_ ...

Title: Potential Energy in Uniform Field
Description: The applet on this website simulates the electric potential energy of a charged particle in a uniform electric field as well as the particle's kinetic energy. It simulates the motion of the charged particle in the field and attending energy changes. The applet has “Help,” “Assumptions,” “ShowMe,” and lesson documentation under its “Applet Help” as part of its navigation menu. A point-and-click interface is used; the user can click buttons and drag sliders to control variables and the applet responds dynamically. Teachers can insert this applet into their interactive classroom presentations and/or they can assign the site to students as a class exercise.
URL: http://canu.ucalgary.ca/map/content/force/elcrmagn/simu ...

Title: What is Energy? Activities and Experiments
Description: These activities and experiments will help you explore the various forms of potential energy.
URL: https://www4.uwsp.edu/cnr/wcee/keep/Mod1/Whatis/experim ...