Students examine how different balls react when colliding with different surfaces, giving plenty of opportunity for them to see the difference between elastic and inelastic collisions, learn how to calculate momentum, and understand the principle of conservation of momentum.
Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are completely driven by gravity. A class competition using different marbles types to represent different passenger loads determines the most innovative and successful roller coasters.
Students experiment with an online virtual laboratory set at a skate park. They make predictions of graphs before they use the simulation to create graphs of energy vs. time under different conditions. This simulation experimentation strengths their comprehension of conservation of energy solely between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy
Students will explore the definition of energy by making careful observations about simple toys that illustrate basic principles of energy.
Students learn about kinetic and potential energy, including various types of potential energy: chemical, gravitational, elastic and thermal energy. They identify everyday examples of these energy types, as well as the mechanism of corresponding energy transfers. They learn that energy can be neither created nor destroyed and that relationships exist between a moving object's mass and velocity. Further, the concept that energy can be neither created nor destroyed is reinforced, as students see the pervasiveness of energy transfer among its many different forms. A PowerPoint(TM) presentation and post-quiz are provided.
As a weighted plastic egg is dropped into a tub of flour, students see the effect that different heights and masses of the same object have on the overall energy of that object while observing a classic example of potential (stored) energy transferred to kinetic energy (motion). The plastic egg's mass is altered by adding pennies inside it. Because the egg's shape remains constant, and only the mass and height are varied, students can directly visualize how these factors influence the amounts of energy that the eggs carry for each experiment, verified by measurement of the resulting impact craters. Students learn the equations for kinetic and potential energy and then make predictions about the depths of the resulting craters for drops of different masses and heights. They collect and graph their data, comparing it to their predictions, and verifying the relationships described by the equations. This classroom demonstration is also suitable as a small group activity.
Using the LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT kit, students construct experiments to measure the time it takes a free falling body to travel a specified distance. Students use the touch sensor, rotational sensor, and the NXT brick to measure the time of flight for the falling object at different release heights. After the object is released from its holder and travels a specified distance, a touch sensor is triggered and time of object's descent from release to impact at touch sensor is recorded and displayed on the screen of the NXT. Students calculate the average velocity of the falling object from each point of release, and construct a graph of average velocity versus time. They also create a best fit line for the graph using spreadsheet software. Students use the slope of the best fit line to determine their experimental g value and compare this to the standard value of g.
Background: students are familiar with static electricity, charge, and sparks. They also know about conservation of energy, forms of energy including potential energy, power, and work. Students will complete a variety of activities using breadboards, which will display various types of circuits and their effect on the flow of electricity.
In this hands-on activity rolling a ball down an incline and having it collide into a cup the concepts of mechanical energy, work and power, momentum, and friction are all demonstrated. During the activity, students take measurements and use equations that describe these energy of motion concepts to calculate unknown variables, and review the relationships between these concepts.
Students are introduced to renewable energy, including its relevance and importance to our current and future world. They learn the mechanics of how wind turbines convert wind energy into electrical energy and the concepts of lift and drag. Then they apply real-world technical tools and techniques to design their own aerodynamic wind turbines that efficiently harvest the most wind energy. Specifically, teams each design a wind turbine propeller attachment. They sketch rotor blade ideas, create CAD drawings (using Google SketchUp) of the best designs and make them come to life by fabricating them on a 3D printer. They attach, test and analyze different versions and/or configurations using a LEGO wind turbine, fan and an energy meter. At activity end, students discuss their results and the most successful designs, the aerodynamics characteristics affecting a wind turbine's ability to efficiently harvest wind energy, and ideas for improvement. The activity is suitable for a class/team competition. Example 3D rotor blade designs are provided.
This resource is a lesson and project to guide students through using a roller coaster simulation to explain how energy can be transformed from one form to another (energy transformation). The lesson, resources, project, and energy quiz can be accessed and modified through a Google Slides presentation (http://bit.ly/RollerCoasterEnergyTransformations)
In this lesson students investigate how the distance of stretch in a rubber band at rest relates to the distance the rubber band travels after being released. Students will be pulling rubber bands back to five different stretch lengths. They will then measure how far the rubber bands fly when released from the different stretch lengths and then record the results down in a data table.
Students conduct an experiment to determine the relationship between the speed of a wooden toy car at the bottom of an incline and the height at which it is released. They observe how the photogate-based speedometer instrument "clocks" the average speed of an object (the train). They gather data and create graphs plotting the measured speed against start height. After the experiment, as an optional extension activity, students design brakes to moderate the speed of the cart at the bottom of the hill to within a specified speed range.
Students learn the history of the waterwheel and common uses for water turbines today. They explore kinetic energy by creating their own experimental waterwheel from a two-liter plastic bottle. They investigate the transformations of energy involved in turning the blades of a hydro-turbine into work, and experiment with how weight affects the rotational rate of the waterwheel. Students also discuss and explore the characteristics of hydroelectric plants.
Students learn how engineers transform wind energy into electrical energy by building their own miniature wind turbines and measuring the electrical current it produces. They explore how design and position affect the electrical energy production.