Lesson 10 of 11
Objective: SWBAT explain that energy is not created or destroyed, but transferred from one form to another through an online simulation.
Teacher Tip: This lesson is used to help students identify that energy is not created or destroyed, just transferred from one form to another. Through the use of the PhEt simulation, Energy Skate Park, students use observational data to write an argument for why energy is not lost or destroyed (SP7). MS-PS3-5 is the foundation of this lesson as it's based upon the transfer of energy from oneform to another.
To start this lesson, I have the kids individually working to answer the following prompt in their student notes sheet:
Explain how potential energy can be changed into kinetic energy.
This is a sort of review from the previous day's lesson, where they diagrammed various energy transformations. After 3-4 minutes of answering the question by providing an example, I will solicit one to two students to share their responses with the class, diagramming their example on the white board. Potential answers would reference a stopped object with potential energy moving into kinetic energy.
SP7 Engaging in Argument from Evidence - Construct, use, and/or present an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.
Individually, kids work on laptop computer (or device with Flash and Java) to complete the PhEt simulation and answer the questions below:
Follow the procedure below.
- Click on the simulation.
- Select “show pie chart” and “track friction”.
- Move the friction coefficient to change the amount and answer the questions below.
What three things are measured in the pie chart?
As kinetic energy increase, what decreases?
As friction increases, what also increases? What decreases?
- What does potential energy change to?
As students work, I make sure they are following the procedure and ask them to point out different things, "Where is the kinetic energy the greatest (the most)? Where is the potential energy the greatest (the most)?
Once students have had time to explore the simulation and gather some initial data, it's important for them to make sense of what they've done. By answering the questions below, students will analyze their work and make connections to their observations and the previous mechanical energy labs.
Answer the questions below based on the simulation.
What are two ways you can slow down an object’s motion?
What are two ways you can increase an object’s motion?
- Why does a pie chart work for this simulation?
After 7-8 minutes, students share their responses with the class.
The last part of the lesson is like a wrap-up of the activities, referring back to the simulation and the data from previous mechanical energy labs. By answering the following prompt, students engage in argument writing that is supported by observational evidence.
Answer the following, using evidence from your observations during the simulation and the car/ramp labs.
Does energy every get lost or destroyed?
How do you know?