Our World: Potential and Kinetic Energy

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Published on August 28, 2022 by

It may come as a surprise but roller coasters have been around for 200 years. The basic science that makes these thrilling rides possible is Physics — the science of energy, forces, and motion. In this video, students will explore an amazing example of energy transfer, that is, roller coaster rides. At first, a machine uses energy to pull up a coaster on a steep track. As the coasters move higher, they gain potential energy. When the coasters moves down the track, the stored potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy —— the energy of motion. Both potential and kinetic energy rely on the force that causes attraction between all things on Earth, gravity. The interchange between potential and kinetic energy allows an exhilarating ride.

The video satisfies the 4-PS3-3 requirement of fourth-grade science proficiency.

Students who demonstrate understanding can: 4-PS3-3. Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.

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