In this activity, your students are challenged to list as many real-life examples as they can of potential and kinetic energy.
Hold a glass of water above a table and ask your students what will happen if the glass is tipped. How does this demonstrate the difference between potential and kinetic energy? Ask students to explain.
Discuss examples of potential energy being converted to kinetic energy:
Introduce some other examples of potential and kinetic energy:
Have your class partner up, and have each pair work together to come up with more creative examples of potential and kinetic energy. After a few minutes, start going around the room, having each duo give an example of the two types of energy. As a class, try to come up with 20 or more different examples of each.
Assess students on their work in pairs, and on their participation in the class discussion. Notice their understanding of the concepts of potential and kinetic energy, and how well they could explore energy transformation.
Energy is the ability or capacity to do work and is measured in joules (J). Energy can be transformed into another type of energy, but it cannot be created and it cannot be destroyed.
There are many different forms of energy (heat, light, electric, elastic, etc.) but all energy is either potential or kinetic.