Education Technology

Physical Science: Energy Skate Park (MG)

by Texas Instruments - Simulation Lesson


  • Students will observe how variations in the dips and inclines of a skateboard track affect a skateboarder's motion.
  • Students will analyze the affects of gravity and friction on the motion of the skateboarder.
  • Students will apply knowledge of potential and kinetic energy to designing their own tracks.


  • gravity
  • potential energy
  • kinetic energy
  • friction
  • speed
  • force
  • energy system

About the Lesson

Adapted from a PhET™ simulation, this lesson involves students using TI-Nspire technology to simulate, observe and manipulate some variables that affect the way a skateboarder moves on a track.


As a result, students will:

  • Reinforce understanding of how gravity and friction affect motion within a system.
  • Understand that an object has potential energy due to its position above the surface of a body in the universe.
  • Understand that kinetic energy is energy due to motion relative to a system.
  • Recognize that potential energy can be transformed to kinetic energy and how this is related to the motion of a skateboard.
  • Infer that some kinetic energy will be transformed to thermal energy due to friction.
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