The law of conservation of energy tells us that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Instead it changes from one form of energy to another. Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object. Potential energy can transfer into other forms of energy, like kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is energy in an object because of its motion.
For example, a rubber band that is stretched has elastic potential energy, because when released, the rubber band will spring back toward its resting state, transferring the potential energy to kinetic energy in the process.
In this exploration students will:
1. Collect data to calculate the kinetic energy in a system at different instances
2. Determine how the kinetic energy of the cart’s motion is related to the design and potential energy of each cart
Download PDF for complete lab activity