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  • Lisa Page

    June 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    My students struggle with Conservation topics (momentum & energy) quite often. I purchased an elementary balance to show a visual/concrete representation pre-COVID and I think it will work nicely here before we do the math. We will use similar objects to balance at first: 10 on left, 10 on right. We will then change objects but still try to get it to be level: 10 on right, 5 larger ones on left. Make estimates about mass of left side compared to right side, etc. Finally, we will talk about conservation of quantities within the system as simply moving from right bin to left bin. Nothing is being added to the, “balance system” it simply changes sides/location.

    Primary/Junior School Balance | Balances | Measurement ...

    Unconsciously Incompetent: I know there is energy in the system, I just don’t know what it is or how it got there.

    Consciously Incompetent: I know there are 2 types of energy: kinetic & potential, but I don’t yet know how to apply conservation concepts to a system nor do I fully trust that energy can be changed from one form to another.

    Consciously Competent: I know that if something moves, it has kinetic energy. I know that if something is lifted above a ground level, it has potential energy. I can calculate KE & PE and I can also solve for velocity or height if those values are known.

    Unconsciously Competent: I can look at the parameters of a system and determine the amount of kinetic energy, potential energy and total energy. If 2 of these values are known, I can determine the missing value. I fully understand that energy can change form and can explain how/why it happens.

    Consciously Masterful: I can build a plastic tube roller-coaster (tygon tubing and a bb) and based on the initial measured height of the system I can determine the amount of KE and PE and total energy at any location on the journey using principles of conservation.