Lesson 1: What Is Energy?

Getting Started

Energy is the ability to do work. In order for work to be done, there must be a force (a push or pull) that causes something to move. Energy can cause things to change. There are many types of energy: heat, electrical, sound, magnetic, solar, chemical, mechanical, light, and nuclear. We use and observe energy every day without even realizing it.

NOTE: In this unit, you will use materials from both the black ScienceWiz Energy box and the Moving Beyond the Page Energy Science Kit. Materials from the Energy Science kit have "(kit)" after them in the "Stuff You Need" list. Activities will note when you need materials from the ScienceWiz Energy box.

Stuff You Need

• ScienceWiz Energy box
• bags or cans of food
• calculator
• colored pencils or markers
• large marble (kit)
• meter stick or tape measure
• ruler
• scissors
• small marbles (kit)
• thick book

• How does energy affect our daily lives?
• What is the relationship between work, distance, and force?

Things to Know

• Energy is the ability to do work.
• A newton is a unit used to measure force.
• A joule is a unit used to measure work.
• Potential energy is stored energy that is waiting to be used.
• Kinetic energy is the energy of a moving object.
• Work = Force X Distance

Skills

• Determine the motion of an object by following and measuring its position over time. (S)
• Evaluate how pushing or pulling forces change the position and motion of an object. (S)
• Differentiate among forms of energy including light, heat, electrical, nuclear, chemical, sound, mechanical, magnetic, and solar energy. (S)
• Recognize the difference between potential and kinetic energy. (S)

Introducing the Lesson

Explain to your child that today he will explore forms of energy. Many people think of electricity when they think of energy, but there are many forms of energy at work in the world. We could never keep track of the number of ways energy plays a role in our daily lives.

NOTE: In this unit, your child will use materials from the black ScienceWiz Energy box and the Moving Beyond the Page Energy Science Kit. Materials from the Energy Science kit have "(kit)" after them in the "Stuff You Need" list. Activities will note when you need materials from the ScienceWiz Energy box. The book from the ScienceWiz Energy box is located in the back flap of the box.