Potential and Kinetic Energy STEM Activity

Rated 4.71 out of 5, based on 188 reviews
188 Ratings
Science in the City
Grade Levels
7th - 9th
Formats Included
  • PDF
7 pages
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Easel Activity Included
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Are you looking for a memorable, easy to implement, hands-on project to teach POTENTIAL and KINETIC ENERGY. This lesson works well with STEM and NGSS standards, and quickly engages students. Students will remember the concepts, explore using readily available household materials, and then synthesize their knowledge with follow up questions where students explore those concepts at a higher level.

See the concept in action here!

This includes:

  • Lesson plan and accompanying lab handouts: students create a pop can car. They will read the procedure, create the car, test different factors to make it go faster/slower/farther, and then read and answer questions about their activity. (studying potential and kinetic energy).

Materials needed: pop cans, rubber bands, paper clips, beads, masking tape, dowels or unsharpened pencils.

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Total Pages
7 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units. Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame, and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.


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