If you drop a hammer and a feather on the moon, what'll happen? If you drink tea that is too hot, what'll happen? If you stand in front of a jet engine while it's running, what'll happen? All these questions have one thing in common – they all involve energy moving from one store to another.
This is what we'll be looking at – how energy moves from store to store. By the end of the activity, you should be able to name the common energy stores and describe situations where energy is changing from one store to another.
So, let’s dive in!
What is energy?
Put simply, energy is the potential for something to do work. If you have energy stored, then you can move, or heat up, or make sound, or anything else. But you need the energy stored in a particular store first.
What are energy stores?
This is just a name we give to the way that energy is stored in different situations. Below, are listed all of the stores of energy you'll be expected to know, and an example of a situation where you would find that store of energy.
|Name of energy store||What it is||An example of where you would find it|
|KINETIC||Energy stored in movement.||Throwing a pen at your sister - the pen stores energy as kinetic. It gained this energy from the store of chemical energy in your muscles.|
|SOUND||Energy stored in sound.||The yelp from your sister when she gets hit by the pen, and the clank of the pen when it hits the floor. This energy has come from the kinetic energy stored by the pen when it was moving and then is stored as sound before that sound hits your ears.|
|GRAVITATIONAL||Energy stored depending on the height above ground level||When the pen falls to the ground, its store of gravitational energy is going down (it is getting closer to the ground) and this store of energy is going into kinetic energy.|
|HEAT||Energy stored in heat.||When the pen hits the ground, it has to get rid of its kinetic energy - and it does this by vibrating the particles within the pen, storing energy as heat. Whenever something hits something and stops, heat is generated.|
|ELECTRICAL||Energy stored in the movement of electricity.||When you get revenge on your brother by giving him a clicky pen with an electric shock in it. The store of electrical energy passes from the pen into your brother, giving him a shock.|
|LIGHT||Energy stored as the movement of photons (more on this in the waves topic)||As the electricity sparks through the air, some of the energy moves to give off light. This light energy then gets passed into your eyes so you can see it.|
|CHEMICAL||Energy stored in chemical bonds (more on this in the endothermic and exothermic reactions activity).||This is how energy is stored in your body as something called ATP (more on this in the respiration worksheet). As the ATP is used, energy is changed into sound energy - of you laughing at your brother.|
|NUCLEAR||Energy stored in the nucleus of an atom (more on this in the atoms and particles topic)||In a final act of revenge, your brother then sets off a nuclear bomb (okay... a bit dramatic). The energy is stored in the nucleus of the atom and released once a nuclear reaction happens, as light and heat.|
Got it? We're now going to look at some situations and you're going to identify the energy that is being stored initially, and then what energy it will be transferred into.