Energy: Different Kinds of Energy

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of the different types of energy. Energy can appear in many different forms, however all forms of energy can be broadly classified as one or a combination of two kinds: kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion; and potential energy, which depends on the relative position or shape of an object. Other kinds of energy include gravitational energy (the separation of mutually attracting masses), thermal energy (the disorderly motion of atoms or molecules), and chemical energy (the arrangement of atoms).

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Reviews (18)
  • on Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:11 PM

Great intro to energy for teachers who haven't used this content for awhile. The concepts were broken down into easy-to-grasp explanations and the hands on simulation was fun and informative. I liked the preconception information also. I will be much more confident in the classroom.

Kathleen M  (Farragut, TN)
Kathleen M (Farragut, TN)

  • on Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:54 AM

I liked this science object a lot because it really made sure you understood the difference between kinetic and potential energy thoroughly. It gave students the opportunity to see a bunch of different examples of each energy and engaged them by providing pictures and sounds of every day activities that include these energies.

Carolina Lopez
Carolina Lopez

  • on Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:48 PM

Great resource. It goes from assessing student's knowledge through questions, explanation, and short video that demonstrates the concept.

Leticia Gonzalez Haro
Leticia Gonzalez Haro

  • on Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:10 AM

I was helping a peer teacher in my school answer some content questions she had about her energy unit. Together we went to this resource and learned so much! THANKS

Susan O'Brien  (Hampden, ME)
Susan O'Brien (Hampden, ME)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:37 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Energy: Different Kinds of Energy Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are really beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:55 PM

This is the an excellent way of presenting the various kinds of energy.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:38 PM

Excellent. It has tons of information about energy and how to approach teaching it. The section on temperature and thermal energy are very good

Dan Carroll  (Arlington, VA)
Dan Carroll (Arlington, VA)

  • on Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:01 AM

This Science Object very accurately and usefully explains the different forms of energy. I was impressed at how this much information was presented and explained in a very interactive and fun way.

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart

  • on Tue Nov 09, 2010 5:34 PM

This SciObject is very useful if you have to teach elementary level energy topics and need a review of basic concepts. It would also be helpful if your science content background doesn't have a physical science focus. It provides information about classifying different types of energy and includes embedded assessments of your progress,ideas about student misconceptions about energy, activities you can do to enhance your understanding and suggestions for other Learning Center resources you can use. Both conceptual and mathematical models are provided so that you can enhance your understanding at a variety of levels.

Bambi Bailey  (Tyler, TX)
Bambi Bailey (Tyler, TX)

  • on Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:30 PM

I use this science object in my online course on transfer of energy. My participants , who are pre and inservice science teachers, have found this science object informative and useful. They have enjoyed the interactive quality of the demonstrations and the instant feedback with rationale after answering questions. This first science object in the Energy Science Pack is a good introduction to different kinds of energy for teachers new to energy concepts or looking for a good review of concepts.

Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton

  • on Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:41 PM

Great resourse for explaining kinetic and potential energy with visual representations allowing the equations to relate to real world applications. Good connections with electrical, chemical,sound and nuclear energy with clear examples.

James Oliver  (Fernandina Beach, Florida)
James Oliver (Fernandina Beach, Florida)

  • on Fri Oct 26, 2007 2:47 PM

So far, I haven't been disappointed.

Dolores Hix  (San Antonio, TX)
Dolores Hix (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sat Oct 18, 2014 3:44 AM

Has a lot of questions and illustrations of the types of energy; however, needs more information.

Louis Aceituno
Louis Aceituno

  • on Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:18 PM

This Science Object is a great resource for the novice or intermediate learner. The built in formative assessments uncover learning and the hints are further learning opportunities. There are good simulations that take the place of hands-on experience for an adult learner.

Donald Boonstra  (League City, TX)
Donald Boonstra (League City, TX)

  • on Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:46 AM

Good---tough concept to develop with elementary students and this has some good ideas.

Liz M  (Interlaken, NY)
Liz M (Interlaken, NY)

  • on Tue Jul 12, 2016 10:40 PM

This was a good lesson in the fact that it gives us video and interactive photo examples that the students will enjoy. Personally, I found it frustrating to have questions about a subject I hadn't covered yet, and ended up just clicking answers until they were right. I think our kids would do the same thing. However, I did really like the multiple choice and evaluations as a formative assessment. I appreciated that they gave comments as to why it was right or wrong choices. Overall, I will use this lesson as part of my Energy unit.

Gena  (Okc, OK)
Gena (Okc, OK)

  • on Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:40 PM

Great tool for 4-6th grade educators...simple physics concepts that include Potential, Kinetic and Gravitational Energy addressed.

Alyce D  (Peyton, CO)
Alyce D (Peyton, CO)

  • on Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:24 PM

This resource was very simple and may benefit someone new to science

Margie  (Virginia Beach, VA)
Margie (Virginia Beach, VA)

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