SC.6.P.11.1

Explore the Law of Conservation of Energy by differentiating between potential and kinetic energy. Identify situations where kinetic energy is transformed into potential energy and vice versa.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 6
Body of Knowledge: Physical Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Energy Transfer and Transformations -

A. Waves involve a transfer of energy without a transfer of matter.

B. Water and sound waves transfer energy through a material.

C. Light waves can travel through a vacuum and through matter.

D. The Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy is conserved as it transfers from one object to another and from one form to another.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
2002040: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2002050: M/J Comprehensive Science 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003010: M/J Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003020: M/J Physical Science, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7820015: Access M/J Comprehensive Science 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
2002055: M/J Comprehensive Science 1 Accelerated Honors (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
2003030: M/J STEM Physical Science (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.6.P.11.In.1: Identify energy as stored (potential) or expressed in motion (kinetic).
SC.6.P.11.Su.1: Recognize examples of stored energy, such as in a roller coaster.
SC.6.P.11.Pa.1: Distinguish between objects in motion (kinetic energy) and at rest.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

The Energy of a Pendulum:

This is an introductory Predict-Observe-Explain lesson on the Conservation of Energy using a Pendulum Simulation and the Pendulum Perspectives video. This lesson will reinforce the difference between kinetic and potential energy and help students make a connection to the law of the conservation of energy. This lesson includes a ready made lab sheet and video overview of the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy From The Sun To Make Some Fun!:

MSP Racing Company is a cutting edge company that wishes to break through and develop the fastest renewable energy vehicle of its kind. In this lesson, students will be divided into teams of three and will be assigned the task of developing a solar-powered race car to be purchased and developed in full scale by MSP Racing. Each group of students will be employees of MSP Racing Company and will have to develop, test, and present their car to the boss (teacher) of the company.

Type: Lesson Plan

Laws and Theories in Nature:

This lesson will begin with a presentation to discuss the major differences between hypotheses, theories and laws in science and society and identify several examples of laws and theories. The students will then go outside and make/write down/photograph examples of nature supporting these laws/theories.

Type: Lesson Plan

Conservation of Energy Mini Stations:

Students will work through four stations manipulating various objects to foster their understanding of the Law of Conservation of Energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bouncing Balls in Kinetic and Potential Energy Transformations:

This lesson uses tennis balls to explain how potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy and how kinetic energy can be converted to potential energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discovering Your Potential:

This is a multiple-day lesson to teach students about the Law of Conservation of Energy with a focus on the types of potential energies and how potential and kinetic energies can transfer from one to the other and back.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hot Rod Half Pipe :

Students create a U-shaped track for toy cars and demonstrate how potential energy is converted to kinetic energy and back to potential.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pop Off!:

Students will measure and graph the energy released by Alka-Seltzer and water in a closed system.

Type: Lesson Plan

Daring Dive:

This resource is designed for students to better understand energy. It is designed to teach students using a more engaging and hands-on approach by having students examine the energy transformations during a bungee jump (by building a model bungee cord with rubber bands).

Type: Lesson Plan

Kinetic Energy and Carbon Dioxide:

Students investigate the increase of their respiration rate of carbon dioxide due to the change of energy from chemical potential energy to kinetic energy. This lesson plan involves students doing physical activities to see the change from potential to kinetic energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Energy Transformations:

In this introductory lesson, students will demonstrate potential and kinetic energy transformations using a tennis ball and a rubber band.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cool Science Investigation: Stop and Go Energies:

This lesson plan gets the students involved in learning about the various types of potential and kinetic energies. There is a 'mystery box' and pre-test to help introduce the concept of energy leading to potential and kinetic. The students will then research energy information in teams to come up with a good definition and examples of their energy, plus find 2 pictures to help illustrate their examples. They will take their research notes and create an energy card that is used in an energy match-up activity. The unit wraps up with an individual energy summative worksheet where they can write down the knowledge that they can have gained. The exit ticket gives the teacher a final glimpse into their understanding of the basic energy types before moving onto energy transformations.

Type: Lesson Plan

See it! Read it! Share it! It's the Law!:

What role do Potential and Kinetic energy play in regards to the Law of Conservation of Energy? The lesson consists of a series of shifts from whole group activities to cooperative group activities. This lesson encompasses literacy aspects while providing conceptual knowledge of energy transformation. Included in the lesson is the student's informational text packages, an anticipation guide, answer keys, and links to a video, an interactive, and an energy song to allow comparing multimedia resources to text resources.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Puck Stops Here:

After learning about transfer of energy, specifically the loss of kinetic energy to friction, students get a chance to test friction

Type: Lesson Plan

How Fast can Dominoes Travel in a Chain Reaction?:

The students will complete an inquiry activity using dominoes to determine what variables affect the speed of the chain reaction. Students will have to consider and decide on the best spacing between dominoes to achieve the fastest travel time and ensure the spacing remains constant by carefully measuring the distance between each domino. They will set up 5 dominoes at a time to set off a chain reaction alongside another 5 dominoes space differently. Students can create a bar graph to show how the spacing affects the speed. Students can have fun while learning or reinforcing their understanding of potential and kinetic energy, measuring distance, measuring elapsed time, recording data, making and interpreting graphs and using the distance formula to calculate the rate of speed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Punkin Chunkin - An Engineering Design Challenge:

This Engineering Design Challenge is intended to help students apply the concepts of the transfer of potential and kinetic energy from SC.6.P.11.1. It is not intended as an initial introduction to this benchmark.

Type: Lesson Plan

Elastic Potential Energy:

Students will explore the relationship between force and mass as it applies to elastic potential energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Potential and Kinetic Energy; "To Move or not to Move".:

Students will investigate, through a guided exploration lab, using a tennis ball, the Law of Conservation of Energy to differentiate between Potential and Kinetic Energy, and identify real life situations where potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy and vice versa.

Type: Lesson Plan

Finding Impact Craters with LandSat:

Students examine and write about the effects extraterrestrial collisions might have on the land, atmosphere, water, and living things. Students then read descriptions of the actual effects of impact events and the evidence these leave behind. To demonstrate their understanding of the role of impact events in shaping the Earth, students write a series of guidance questions for a field expedition to determine whether or not a given landform is an impact crater.

Type: Lesson Plan

Enlightening Explorations, Part I:

This lesson contains three student experiments: How Light Travels, Comparing Light Sources, and Reflective Surfaces.

Type: Lesson Plan

Falling Water:

Students drop water from different heights to demonstrate the conversion of water's potential energy to kinetic energy.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hot-Wheeler-Coaster:

Students will be put into groups of 3-4 and supplied with the necessary materials to build a hot wheels track that has at least two hills. The challenge will be to design an experiment to test whether the car will coast over a second hill that is at least as high as the first one. Be sure to allow the students the freedom to choose which hill's height to vary, as either will work to demonstrate the lesson concept.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Move It!:

Learn about kinetic and potential energy as we explore several sporting activities in this interactive tutorial.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Detective PEKE and the Energy Transformers:

Explore kinetic and potential energy and how energy is conserved in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Energy and Nutrition:

Calorie-dense foods can power the human body across the ocean? Feel the burn.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Projects

Roller Coaster Marbles: Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy:

The goal of this project is to build a roller coaster for marbles using foam pipe insulation and to investigate how much of the gravitational potential energy of a marble at the starting point is converted to the kinetic energy of the marble at various points along the track.

Type: Project

Roller Coaster Marbles: How Much Height to Loop the Loop?:

The goal of this project is to build a roller coaster for marbles using foam pipe insulation and to investigate how much height is needed in order for the marble to run through a loop of fixed size.

Type: Project

Teaching Ideas

Build a Mighty Machine:

In this hands-on and web interactive project, students design and build a machine inspired by animals where the entire structure flips or jumps (vertically or horizontally) using basic materials such as sticks and rubber bands. The students will explore concepts including power amplification, elastic potential energy, and kinetic energy by manipulating physical objects.

Type: Teaching Idea

The Marshmallow Launch:

This simple catapult activity for students in grades 4-8 teaches them how energy is transferred when a plastic spoon is pulled back, then released, rocketing its payload: a single marshmallow.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Building a Better Battery:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. It is challenging to build batteries that are small, hold a big charge, and can be recharged many times. Sulfur-based batteries represent a solution, but they are at risk of explosion because byproducts form when they recharge. Scientists think they have solved this problem by creating batteries out of titanium oxide-coated sulfur particles that allow for the storage of bad byproducts.

Type: Text Resource

Baseball: From Pitch to Hits:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes the science behind baseball by analyzing an actual pitch that took place in a Royals vs. Tigers game. The text describes how Newton's First Law affects the pitch and then describes how energy is transferred from ball to bat. Finally, the text explains how scientists use several methods to analyze the physics of a pitch.

Type: Text Resource

Virtual Manipulatives

Energy Skate Park:

Students will:

  • Predict the kinetic and potential energy of objects
  • Design a skate park
  • Examine how kinetic and potential energy interact with each other

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Energy Skate Park:

The students will make ramps and hills for a skateboarder to ride on. Students will explore the relationship between kinetic and potential energy, as well as thermal energy. Several variables, such as gravity, mass of skater, and friction can be manipulated. You can even test your skater in space! Amount of energy can be displayed in pie and bar graphs.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Potential/Kinetic Energy Simulation:

Learn about conservation of energy with a skater! Build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy as he moves. You can adjust the amount of friction and mass. Measurement and graphing tools are built in.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Detective PEKE and the Energy Transformers:

Explore kinetic and potential energy and how energy is conserved in this interactive tutorial.

Move It!:

Learn about kinetic and potential energy as we explore several sporting activities in this interactive tutorial.  

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

Move It!:

Learn about kinetic and potential energy as we explore several sporting activities in this interactive tutorial.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Detective PEKE and the Energy Transformers:

Explore kinetic and potential energy and how energy is conserved in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Virtual Manipulative

Potential/Kinetic Energy Simulation:

Learn about conservation of energy with a skater! Build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy as he moves. You can adjust the amount of friction and mass. Measurement and graphing tools are built in.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Project

Roller Coaster Marbles: Converting Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy:

The goal of this project is to build a roller coaster for marbles using foam pipe insulation and to investigate how much of the gravitational potential energy of a marble at the starting point is converted to the kinetic energy of the marble at various points along the track.

Type: Project

Teaching Idea

Build a Mighty Machine:

In this hands-on and web interactive project, students design and build a machine inspired by animals where the entire structure flips or jumps (vertically or horizontally) using basic materials such as sticks and rubber bands. The students will explore concepts including power amplification, elastic potential energy, and kinetic energy by manipulating physical objects.

Type: Teaching Idea