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A Potpourri Of Energy


How do you classify energy?


Assorted stations as listed


You are to visit the various stations around the room and classify the energy that you feel is represented. You are to include the units that you would give the energy. Organize your information in a data table that includes a description of the station--energy type and energy unit.

Station 1: Wind up toy

a. Wind up the toy and identify the energy available to the toy.
b. Let the toy go. What type of energy do you think the toy has now?

Station 2: An assortment of batteries such a s a car battery, a dry cell, a fruit or potato cell.

Station 3: A spring and/or a pogo stick

Station 4: A picture of the Sun

Station 5: A hand cranked generator

Station 6: A hot wheels track including a loop the loop

a. Car at the top of the track "hill"
b. Car at the bottom of the hill just entering the loop
c. Car at the top of the loop

Station 7: Hand warmer and ice packs for athletic injuries

Station 8:

a. An unlit candle
b. A candle burning

Station 9:

a. An open electric circuit
b. A closed electric circuit

Station 10: A Boom Box with a small Styrofoam ball on a string hanging in from of the

Station 11: Microwave oven

Station 12: Glow in the dark materials, phosphorescent and florescent materials

Station 13: A Geiger counter and old Coleman lanterns mantles or smoke detector

Station 14: Spring-loaded hand strengtheners

Station 15: A container of gasoline

Teacher's Notes

When students initially begin the process of classifying energies they tend to list each separately. In the discussion following the lab with the class as a whole attempt to narrow their categories. Eventually students will group energies into two or three types kinetic, potential and thermal.

Alternative station for # 7 of A Potpourri of Energy


1. Add one spoon of sodium bicarbonate and two spoons of calcium chloride to a
small size ziplock bag. Seal the bag and mix the two solids well.
2. Measure 10 ml of water into a small cup .
3. Open the bag with the two solids inside and carefully place the cup in the bag
without spilling or tipping the water over. Carefully seal the bag again. (Press as
much air out as possible.)
4. Tip the container, place the whole bag in the empty large bag, and seal.
Observe the changes.

a) What happens to the temperature of the bag's solution?
b) What else do you observe?

5. In one of the smaller bags, combine one spoon of sodium bicarbonate with 10
ml of water. What do you observe?
6. In the last small bag, combine two spoons of calcium chloride with 10 ml of
water. What do you observe?