Online College Courses for Credit

Kinetic and Potential Energy

Kinetic and Potential Energy

Author: Yazmin Zavala

Students will connect their learning about potential and kinetic energy to real life experiences, such as going to a playground with swing sets and practice using potential and kinetic energy while swinging on a swing, with or without assistance.

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Science content area standards:

1. Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another. As a basis for understanding this concept: c. Students know machines and living things convert stored energy to motion and heat.

B.     NGSS: PS2.A: Forces and Motion: Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object’s speed or direction of motion. (Boundary: Qualitative and conceptual, but not quantitative addition of forces are used at this level.) (3-PS2-1)


Big Question:

After looking through the websites, how do you believe a swing works? Use the terms potential and kinetic energy to describe how swinging on a swing has both of these energies.

This video will allow you to see how potential and kinetic energy are part of your everyday life. Pay close attention to when these energies take place!

Source: Potential and Kinetic Energy for Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2015, from