This is a wonderfully fun activity to get your students excited about studying energy!
Students travel through various stations either in hula hoops or in baskets that can be carried! In each station is a variety of items categorized as either "food" or "light up objects" that the students must explore for about 2-3 minutes. I have my budding scientists wear goggles to stay protected and get into the spirit! At the conclusion of the station, students must determine whether the items in that station had energy, did not have energy, or they're still not quite sure. The discussions between your little partners will astound you as they work to explore what energy is!
At the conclusion of your unit, you may have your scientists head back to these stations and determine that all of these items have energy and reuse this page as a quick assessment tool!
Suggestions for items in each station:
Spinning objects: pinwheels, electric mini fans, flying disks, etc.
Food: have a variety of real and fake fruits and snack packs to get the conversation flowing!
Flashlights: put some that have batteries and some without, allow the students to explore beginning light properties by providing light filters, mirrors, and other random items to absorb and reflect the light!
Stretch Objects: rubber bands, rubbery toys, stretch armstrong types
Musical Instruments: a cd player, mini xylophones or drums, sound machines, clappers, DIY rainmakers and other sound makers
Magnets: include a variety along with magnetic objects!
Light up objects: check your local dollar store for a huge selection!
Other stations you may want to include: A water station, A wind station, A rolling station, the possibilities are endless!