These Essential Understandings were taken from the Middle School physical science introduction.
- The interactions of objects can explained and predicted using the concept of transfer of energy.
- The total change in energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
- Scientific investigations are guided by a set of values to ensure accuracy of measurements, observations and objectivity of findings.
Factual Guiding Questions
- What is the difference between energy and temperature?
- What are the factors that can affect potential energy?
- What is the difference between kinetic and thermal energy
- How is energy transferred and conserved?
- How can energy be transferred from one object or system to another?
- Describe the behavior of the particles in each state of matter.
- Describe what happens to the particles in matter as it changes state. (increase/decrease in energy, type of movement)
Conceptual Guiding Questions
- What is the relationship between thermal energy and chemical process found in everyday life?
- Where do we find examples of kinetic energy and thermal energy in real life?
- What is the relationship between force and energy?
Authentic Learning Activities & Experimental Design
- What are the naturally occurring forms of kinetic and potential energy? How can these forms of energy be used to meet the energy needs of humans?
- When a driver applies the brakes in a regular (non-hybrid) car, the car’s kinetic energy is converted to heat energy through friction in the braking mechanism. This energy cannot be used to power the car. When a driver applies the brakes in a hybrid car, the car’s kinetic energy is converted to potential (electrical) energy and stored in the car’s batteries.