Submitting Organization: Lawrence Hall of Science and Amplify
Grade Level: 4th Grade
Subject Area: Science
Standards Alignment: Next Generation Science Standards
- Practice 2: Developing and Using Models
- Practice 4: Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Practice 6: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
- PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
- Energy can be moved from place to place by moving objects or through sound, light, or electric currents. (4-PS3-2), (4-PS3-3)
- PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
- Energy can also be transferred from place to place by electric currents, which can then be used locally to produce motion, sound, heat, or light. The currents may have been produced to begin with by transforming the energy of motion into electrical energy. (4-PS3-2), (4-PS3-4)
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
- Systems and System Models
- Energy and Matter
Description of the Activity: If needed, introduce your students to the terms energy and system. Ask students if they can think of any examples of energy systems: systems that take energy in one form and convert it to another form to be used [example: a car takes energy in the form of fuel and converts it to motion energy; a flashlight takes energy stored in a battery and converts it to light energy]. Ask students to discuss and describe the parts of one of these energy systems [the battery, the wires, the light bulb].
Then, have your students use the Energy Conversions sim to explore energy systems. Students should work with a partner and open the Sim. They should follow these directions:
- Build and run a system in the Sim with light as an output energy form. Make sure you switch to Analyze mode after your run your system.
- Think of a name for your system and record it.
- Record the system’s parts and the output energy form.
- Build and run a system in the Sim with sound as an output energy form.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3.
- For one of your systems, compare the Energy Transferred In with the Energy Transferred Out. What do you notice?
- Try to make a system that has a lot of thermal energy transferred out; then try to make a system that has very little thermal energy transferred out.
Discussion Questions: Afterwards, discuss these questions:
- What are some examples of energy systems?
- Describe the parts of one of the energy systems you thought of.
- Name the forms of energy you observed as energy outputs of the energy systems you built.
- How did you make a system that had a high level of thermal energy transferred out? How did you make a system that had a low level of thermal energy transferred out?
- Share anything else interesting that you observed as you worked with the Sim.
Resources Needed: One digital device per pair of students, to access browser-based simulation.
Link to further information: amplify.com/100kin10