Teaching about potential and kinetic power is always exciting, whether your students room in kindergarten or college. There is so lot to explore, and the civilization is complete of examples of these types of power in action. Any time the you’re chewing gum, keying on your computer, or launching a rubber band into the air… you space demonstrating potential and kinetic energy in every its glory.

You are watching: Energy that a body possesses by virtue of being in motion.




The legislation of conservation of power is one of the simple laws of physics i m sorry governs the microscopic activity of individual atom in a chemical reaction. The legislation of conservation energy states:

In a closeup of the door system, i.e., a device that isolated from its surroundings, the complete energy the the system is conserved.

To put it much more simply, energy can no be created nor destroyed. However, power can be changed from one type to another.

All develops of power are one of two people potential or kinetic energy. Potential refers to stored power while kinetic is energy in motion.

All energy, whether potential or kinetic, is measured in a unit called a Joule (J). That is named after the English physicist James Prescott Joule (1818–1889).


Potential Energy

Potential power is characterized as the energy stored by a human body by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electrical charge, and other factors.

When you (or a rock) are standing at the optimal of a hill, friend possess more potential energy than once standing at the bottom. This is since your place relative to the Earth’s facility of gravity can exert potential power upon you to bring you closer come that center.

Types of Potential Energy


Every animate and inanimate object is the an outcome of chemical reactions. Chemicals in a battery have actually the potential to it is in converted right into motion, because of this they have chemical potential energy. If you’re trying to find a an excellent chemical reaction demo for her classroom, inspect out education Innovation’s prompt Light Powder.




Elastic potential energy is present when the object, such together a spring, is in a deformed state however can go back to a static state. This way the spring has elastic potential energy when it is either stretched or compressed. Education Innovation’s best-selling Dropper Poppers are fantastic example that elastic potential energy.


The massive of one atom’s cell core is nearly entirely made up of that is protons and also neutrons. The pressure binding them with each other is taken into consideration potential energy since it causes them to weigh much less than the amount of your parts.


An object’s relative place to a gravitational ar is the gravitational potential an item has to do work. Earth gravity will certainly pull a ripe apple native the branch and convert it into gravitational kinetic energy. Take it a look in ~ this nifty small “toy” together an example:

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic power is characterized as power that a body possesses through virtue of being in motion.

As you walk down stairs, as water boils, and as the planets orbit the sun, kinetic energy is being utilized.

Types of Kinetic Energy



We already know kinetic energy is exerted when an item is in motion. When the gears are turning within one engine, they space exhibiting mechanical kinetic energy. An unusually compelling instance of mechanical kinetic energy can be found in the wrecking Steel ball Demo Kit. Simply location a item of record between the two spheres, clink the spheres together and watch a small burn hole show up in the paper.


Electrical kinetic power actually defines the transit the the electrical energy itself, electricity. For example, the electrical current that dead the fee from a battery come the light pear is kinetic energy.

The power Ball is a an excellent way to present your students to electrical kinetic energy. This is a fun means to demonstrate open and also closed collection circuits without any danger of electric shocks!


Thermal power is the an outcome of one object’s temperature being changed. Heat, or thermal energy, deserve to be transferred by convection, conduction, and also radiation. When water boils, thermal power is transferred by conduction as molecules vibrate.

Educational Innovations’ website is filled with unique thermal energy demonstration materials, ranging from Nitinol Springs (click here for an Instagram video) to the exceptional Chemical warmth Pack.



Magnetic areas are the impact of electric currents and magnetic products specified by the direction and strength that attraction or repulsion. The earth magnetic field is exactly how your compass have the right to determine north from South. Educational Innovations has a compelling class demonstration, the Magnetic ar Cube that shows magnetic ar lines in 3D.

Kinetic and Potential power Working Together

All creates of kinetic energy are the result of a ahead state that potential energy. Because that example, the stored chemical potential power of a battery switch to electrical kinetic energy to transport power to a irradiate bulb, which radiates thermal kinetic energy.

Online Resources

Energy children from the US power Information management is a exorbitant website with lessons, games, calculators and also more. There’s also a timeline through the background of energy!

This virtual tutorial from the university of Wisconsin is a good, quick primer for older students.

Khan Academy’s Work and Energy class are also worth a look.

Hands-On power Demos

If you’re feather for an ext hands-on demonstrations regarded all type of energy, consider our Watch the Go! power Conversion Bundle—it has all species of best-selling kinetic energy conversion products that students love.


Arthur Murray is a scientific research writer because that SaveOnEnergy.com.

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