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TEKS Objective

The student is expected to differentiate among forms of energy, including mechanical, sound, electrical, light, and heat/thermal.

Essential Understanding

The student knows that energy exists in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems.

Science Background

Energy Tutorial: National Fuel Cell Research Center (website) - Detailed descriptions of different energy sources employed for electricity generation, transportation, heating, etc.

Energy Tutorial
National Fuel Cell Research Center,

Introduction to Energy: The NEED Project (PDF) - Explains different energy sources and the usage levels for various energy sources in the United States.

Introduction to Energy
The NEED Project,

Signature Lesson

Making Objects Move: Science NetLinks (website) - Students study the motion of objects to create a structure that can be used to move an object from a place to another. They will manipulate the motion objects and explore the forces required to control the movement.

Making Objects Move
Science NetLinks,

Supporting Lessons

Spool Racer: PBS Kids (PDF) - Students make and test a spool racer to investigate potential and kinetic (mechanical) energy.

Spool Racer
PBS Kids,

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Be Inventive! Museum of Science (website) - Students are challenged to invent simple machines that use mechanical energy to serve a specific purpose.

Be Inventive!
Museum of Science,

Move It! With Simple Machines: Science NetLinks (website) - Students explore mechanical energy by working with the six simple machines (lever, wedge, pulley, wheel and axle, inclined plane, and screw).

Move It! With Simple Machines
Science Netlinks,

Assessment Ideas

Have students work in groups to invent a machine that would solve a simple everyday problem (such as opening a door). Have them draw or describe their machines.

Related Science TEKS

(4.4A) Tools for Collecting and Analyzing Information
The student is expected to collect, record, and analyze information using tools, including calculators, microscopes, cameras, computers, hand lenses, metric rulers, Celsius thermometers, mirrors, spring scales, pan balances, triple beam balances, graduated cylinders, beakers, hot plates, meter sticks, compasses, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and stopwatches; and materials to support observation of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

Related Math TEKS

4.14D  The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

4.16B   The student is expected to justify why an answer is reasonable and explain the solution process.

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