Blog Archives

Potential vs Kinetic Energy

Here are a few more pics of students learning about potential and kinetic energy as well as how energy transfer works. Students engaged in a lab involving dropping different types of balls and recording data about their bounce heights. They also explored energy transfer by colliding marbles, and they explored energy concepts with rubber band cars.

Marble Collisons

Some days you wish every parent could see what is happening in their child’s classroom. Friday was that kind of day! Students were studying energy transfer: how a rolling marble transferred energy to a still marble on impact, and how the steepness of the incline affected that transfer. Every student was fully engaged. And then…after finishing, one group decided to try the same experiment but using a yardstick, thus changing the length of the inclined ramp. Other groups caught the vision, and suddenly my students became scientists excited to create their own experiments!

More Potential and Kinetic Energy

Testing rubber band powered vehicles on a carpeted floor. How does changing the amount of potential energy, change the amount of kinetic energy? How does today’s data compare to yesterday’s?

Potential and Kinetic Energy

Testing rubber band powered vehicles on a smooth floor. How does changing the amount of potential energy, change the amount of kinetic energy?

Using Data to Make Predictions

More awesome learning about wind energy! Students using data to make predictions!

Energy, Motion, and Forces

Our fourth and fifth grade students have been very busy adjusting to some new routines and new faces in the intermediate grades. We launched our first STEM unit on energy, motion, and forces during the first week of school, and we’ve been impressed with our students’ effort, good collaborative skills, and engagement. Thus far students have explored energy transfer,motion, and forces using pennies, marble collisions, ball dropping experiments, rubber band cars. Mathematics have been infused in each lesson, especially metric measurement. Students used iPads to capture motion and used the camera tools to do some slow motion analysis.

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Today our students collaborated, communicated, and used critical thinking in a simulation to develop proposals for how a place called STEMtown would be able to meet its energy needs as well as balance having a clean and enjoyable environment. Each group will generate two proposals and will decide on one they plan to present to the STEMtown City Council in a project next week.

Wind Turbine Engineering

Our students having been learning about energy since returning from winter break. This week we focused on the renewable energy source- wind. Students used the engineering design process to design, build, test, and improve wind turbines. Vernier energy sensors were used to measure voltage data. Students analyzed their data and evaluated their constructions.

Driving with Motion

Our motion and energy studies continue. Today our students learned about potential and kinetic energy. They have built rubber band powered vehicles using Legos, and they are in the process of using Vernier motion sensors to measure the relationship of potential energy vs kinetic energy.

Trip to Bonneville

Our trip to the Bonneville Dam and fish hatchery was fantastic. The weather was great, tour guides at the dam were great, parent chaperones were great, and our student behavior was great. Even the fish seemed to be doing quite well today. Our students culminated their learning from a STEM unit earlier in the year on salmon and energy as well as from a pilot project about lamprey eels. It was a delight to see and hear students share their expertise with their tour guides, parents, and peers.

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