Science ObjectDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.
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 fourth of four Science Objects in the Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of why energy in some forms can easily be used but in other forms is difficult to use. Energy transformations usually produce some heat, which is transferred to cooler places or objects in the surrounding area via radiation or conduction. In such interactions the number of atoms or molecules is very large and statistics dictate that they will end up with less order than that the initial state. Although just as much total energy remains, it is more widely distributed or spread out which means less can be done with it. This is because useful transfer of energy can be accomplished only when energy is concentrated (such as in falling water, in high-energy molecules in fuels and food, or in radiation from sources such as the intensely hot sun).