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During this Unit, students will perform experiments that introduce different forms of energy. Through experimentation and data collection, students will explore the following three Focus Questions:
How does the transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy relate to the Law of Conservation of Energy?
Can one form of energy be converted to another?
How does converting energy from one form to another relate to the Law of Conservation of Energy?
Students will begin this Unit by experimenting with kinetic energy, the energy of motion, and observing the effects of velocity on kinetic energy. Potential energy will be introduced, along with the equation for gravitational potential energy. Students will examine the effect of height on potential energy and observe the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy.
The conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy will be further examined by looking at the conversion of electrical potential energy to kinetic energy in the form of light. Students will also observe the transfer of energy from one form of kinetic energy (light) to another form of kinetic energy (thermal energy or heat). Finally, students will explore chemical potential energy and its conversion into kinetic energy.
Conceptual Themes addressed in this Unit:
- Force and Motion
- Changes and Reactions