INVESTIGATE Potential & Kinetic Energy with a Marble Maze | 4th Grade Science

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29 pages + Google Slides & Form
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In this INVESTIGATE science station, students Investigate potential and kinetic energy by building a marble maze. Students discuss design challenges, constraints, and criteria. Students then answer questions about the investigation within their science journal or on the provided worksheets.

Google Slides and Google Forms added July 2020

Google Classroom Digital Components Include:

► Google Form™️ with Reading Text & Differentiated Questions

► Google Slides™️ with Activity Directions & Worksheets to record results

This INVESTIGATE station is also available in a larger bundle of 10 stations on Transfer of Energy and Forces.

Included in this resource:

  • Links to Google Resources noted above
  • Teacher Notes (material list & notes)
  • Student Text in two formats
  • Student Instructions
  • Activity Sheet to record observations
  • Differentiated Questions (short answer, fill-in-the-blank with and without a word bank, task cards, multiple-choice questions)
  • Answer Key

Differentiated Responses

Each station includes four different ways to respond to the experience at the station: short answer questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, task cards with short answers, task cards with multiple choice. All the variations are similar to one another. Choose the format that best fits your classroom and students. Students are encouraged to use their science journals, but worksheets are included as well.


Information about the full Energy Science Stations bundle:

Energy Science Stations for Fourth Grade Next Generation Science Standards include 10 different science stations where students can deepen their understanding of energy, transfer of energy, and forces. The focus is on 4-PS3.A-D & ETS1.A and includes concepts such as kinetic and potential energy, forms of energy, rollercoasters, thermal energy, heat transfer, sound energy, the Law of Conservation of Energy, electrical energy, and light energy.

By working through this mega-set of stations, students will gain a robust understanding of energy, energy transfer, and conservation of energy. The Engineering Standards for fourth grade are also incorporated into this set of stations. See the preview for more details on how the four physical science Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) are combined and how the engineering standards are incorporated.

Energy Stations Include

Vocabulary Cards in two formats with and without pictures.

Watch a Video About Potential and Kinetic Energy - Students watch a video about energy or a video about kinetic and potential energy then answer questions about the video.

Play a Game About Types of Energy and Energy Conversion - Students interact with a video game about different forms of energy of light energy then answer questions about the games.

Investigate Potential and Kinetic Energy With a Marble Maze - Students build a rollercoaster to conduct an investigation about potential and kinetic energy. They discuss design challenges, constraints, and criteria. Students then answer questions to reinforce the concepts learned.

Diagram Thermal Energy and Heat Energy Transfer - Students read about thermal energy and complete a diagram showing different ways heat is transferred. Students answer questions about the diagram.

Read about Sound Energy - Students read a passage about sound energy and answer questions.

Model - There are two modeling stations. #1: Model Electrical Energy in Batteries: Students read about and model the Law of Conservation of Energy then answer questions about it. #2: Model the Law of Conservation of Energy: Students read about electrical energy in batteries and make their own battery then answer questions about the model.

Explore - There are two explore stations: #1: Explore Electrical Energy and Light With Circuits: Students read about and explore electrical energy then answer questions. #2: Explore Laser Light Reflection in Mirrors: Students read about different light energy and explore a laser light then answer questions.

Sort Forms of Energy - Students read about different types of energy and sort pictures into categories matching the types of energy.

Some stations include two or more activity choices and extension activities.

Each station is designed to last about 15-20 minutes. Students may do one a day for 8 days, 2 a day for four days, or any format that works for your classroom. Because there are additional activities for the Watch and Play stations, you can offer those as a choice within that station or offer them as an early finisher station, as well.

See the preview for additional information and details.

Additional Science Stations are also available.


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Terms of Use

Copyright © Jessica Boschen. All rights reserved by theauthor. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.

Total Pages
29 pages + Google Slides & Form
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.


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