Education Technology

Energy Skate Park (HS)

Updated on 10/04/2017

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will simulate, observe, and manipulate some variables that affect the way a skateboarder moves on a track.

Objectives

  • Students will describe the variables that affect potential energy and kinetic energy
  • Students will explore the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy
  • Students will describe the total energy as the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy
  • Students will explore the affect of friction on kinetic energy and potential energy

Vocabulary

  • potential energy (PE)
  • kinetic energy (KE)
  • total energy (TE)
  • mass
  • velocity friction
  • gravitational force
  • acceleration due to gravity

About the Lesson

Adapted from a PhETTM simulation, this lesson involves students simulating the motion of a skateboarder on a ramp under a number of different conditions that affect the potential and kinetic energies of the skateboarder-celestial body system.

As a result, students will:

  • Describe the variables used to calculate potential energy.
  • Describe the variables used to calculate kinetic energy.
  • Explore conservation of energy.
  • Explore how potential energy, kinetic energy, and the energy from friction account for the total energy of the skateboarder.
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