# Lesson 2 - Types of Potential Energy

```Lesson 2 - Types of Potential Energy
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Science - SPI 0607.10.1 Distinguish among gravitational potential energy, elastic potential
energy, and chemical potential energy.
Science - SPI 0607.Inq.3 Interpret and translate data in a table, graph, or diagram.
Science - SPI 0607.Inq.4 Draw a conclusion that establishes a cause and effect
Materials: Rubber band propeller planes, stretchy spring with object on the end, glow sticks,
stop watches, graph paper, scientist’s notebook, access to science textbook / internet.
Time needed: 2-3 hours
Safety: goggles, heat source, spinning objects
o Exploration of Pre-Instruction Understanding
 Review the meaning of potential energy and examples
 Review the findings of the Kinetic and Potential Energy Lab
o Pre-Laboratory Activities
 Three student volunteers: one holds a stretched spring, with a mass on it,
without releasing it, one winds up a propeller on a plane without releasing
it, and one holds a glow stick without snapping it.
 Have all students brainstorm in their scientist’s notebook first, then out
loud what these items have in common – write their ideas on the board,
accepting all ideas
 Next, have all students brainstorm how these items / situations are
different, first in their scientist’s notebook then out loud – again write their
ideas on the board, accept all ideas
 Come to a consensus as a class what they have in common and how they
are different, leading them to the fact that they all can do work when
released (have potential energy). And how they are different – they have
different types of potential energy that can make them work.
 Have students to come up with a testable question with regards to one of
the objects, i.e., how does _____ effect _____?” (How do the number
wind-ups on the plane effect how long it will spin when released?)
 Put students in groups based on their question.
 Lab groups then write their hypothesis regarding the object they chose,
i.e., “If we stretch the spring _____cm, it will bounce_____ times.” Another
example is, “If we wind up the propeller _____times, it will take ______
seconds to stop.” Or “If we snap the glow stick at _____temperature, it will
last__________ minutes.” There will need to be three statements
reflecting more and less spring stretches, more and fewer windings of the
propeller, and hotter and colder temperatures of the glow stick.
 Have lab groups design their lab, with an appropriate table to record their
data.
 Provide examples of data tables.
Time for Propeller to Stop Spinning
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
No. Wind-ups
Time to stop
Length of Spring Stretch vs Number of Bounces
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Length of stretch
No. of bounces
Temperature vs Glow light Time
Trial 1
Trial 2
Trial 3
Temp of water
Glow light time
o Participation in the Laboratory Activity
 Once the lab design is approved, students begin to conduct their
experiment.
 Monitor the process of carrying out the experiment and the recording of
data
 Students write their observations along with their data in their scientist’s
notebook in the Observations portion of their lab.
 After collecting data and writing their observations, students graph their
data SPI 0607.Inq.3 Interpret and translate data in a table, graph, or
diagram.
o Negotiation Phase I – Writing Personal Meanings
 In the Claims and Evidence section of the lab, students write an
explanation of their results that explains the relationship of more stretch,
windings, or temperature, the more bounces, longer rotating, or shorter
glow time, etc. Have students also write what they learned regarding
gravitational potential energy from the previous lab (Potential and Kinetic
Energy) SPI 0607.10.1 Distinguish among gravitational potential
energy, elastic potential energy, and chemical potential energy.
o Negotiations Phase II – Share Data with the Groups
 Next students compare their findings with the other groups by writing
their statements on the board, on group white boards, or butcher
paper.
 Group discussion of results
o Negotiation Phase III – Compare Findings to Scientific Community
 Once findings are shared between groups, a comparison with the
scientific community is next.
 This can happen by going to the textbook, appropriate internet source, or
other reliable source.
 Group discussion of results
o Negotiation Phase IV- Individual Reflection
 In the Reflection portion of their lab, students compare their hypothesis
with their findings and write down how their ideas have changed and if
they have any more questions.
 After comparisons are made, students write the best explanation of what
they learned in the Writing section in their scientist’s notebook.
 It is important for students to write their opinions of the experience in their
scientist’s notebook as well.
o Exploration of Post-Instruction Understanding
 Reading students’ Reflection and Writing portion of the lab can indicate
student understanding.
 Students can choose one of the following projects:
 Create a poster demonstrating the difference between
gravitational, elastic, and chemical potential energy and the
relationship with kinetic energy.
 Create a comic strip story depicting the difference between
gravitational, elastic, and chemical potential energy and the
relationship with kinetic energy.
 Write a song depicting the difference between gravitational,
elastic, and chemical potential energy and the relationship with
kinetic energy.
 Write a creative story from the perspective of the spring, propeller,
or glow stick describing the difference between gravitational,
elastic, and chemical potential energy and the relationship with
kinetic energy.
 Design a game that helps younger students learn about the
difference between gravitational, elastic, and chemical potential
energy and the relationship with kinetic energy.
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