ALEX Learning Activity

  

This Too Shall Pass: Rube Goldberg Energy Transfers

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Mary Andrews
System:Lanett City
School:W. O. Lance Elementary
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 2224
Title:
This Too Shall Pass: Rube Goldberg Energy Transfers
Digital Tool/Resource:
OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine - Official Video
Web Address – URL:
Overview:

This activity is designed to be an introductory activity to generate student thought and interest in energy transfers and identification of potential and kinetic energy transfers in a system.

This activity results from the ALEX Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
2 ) Plan and carry out investigations that explain transference of energy from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

a. Provide evidence that heat can be produced in many ways (e.g., rubbing hands together, burning leaves) and can move from one object to another by conduction.

b. Demonstrate that different objects can absorb, reflect, and/or conduct energy.

c. Demonstrate that electric circuits require a complete loop through which an electric current can pass.


NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
P4.11: Electricity flowing through an electrical circuit produces magnetic effects in the wires. In an electrical circuit containing a battery, a bulb, and a bell, energy from the battery is transferred to the bulb and the bell, which in turn transfer the energy to their surroundings as light, sound, and heat (thermal energy).

NAEP Statement::
P4.2: Objects vary in the extent to which they absorb and reflect light and conduct heat (thermal energy) and electricity.

NAEP Statement::
P4.7: Heat (thermal energy), electricity, light, and sound are forms of energy.§

NAEP Statement::
P4.8: Heat (thermal energy) results when substances burn, when certain kinds of materials rub against each other, and when electricity flows though wires. Metals are good conductors of heat (thermal energy) and electricity. Increasing the temperature of any substance requires the addition of energy.


Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Energy
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Plan and carry out investigations that explain transference of energy from place to place by sound.
  • Plan and carry out investigations that explain transference of energy from place to place by light.
  • Plan and carry out investigations that explain transference of energy from place to place by heat.
  • Plan and carry out investigations that explain transference of energy from place to place by electric currents.
  • Provide evidence that heat can be produced in many ways.
  • Provide evidence that heat can move from one object to another by conduction.
  • Demonstrate that different objects can absorb energy.
  • Demonstrate that different objects can reflect energy.
  • Demonstrate that different objects can conduct energy.
  • Demonstrate that electric circuits require a complete loop for the electric current to pass through.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Construct
  • Transfer
  • Energy
  • Potential energy
  • Kinetic energy
  • Friction
  • Conduction
  • Absorb
  • Reflect
  • Circuit
  • Open circuit
  • Close circuit
  • Heat
  • Radiation
  • Convection
  • Collision
  • Motion
  • Electrical energy
  • Stored energy
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Energy is present whenever there are moving objects, sound, light, or heat.
  • The transfer of energy, including the following:
    • Collisions between objects.
    • Light traveling from one place to another.
    • Electric currents producing motion, sound, heat, or light.
    • Sound traveling from one place to another.
    • Heat passing from one object to another.
    • Motion, sound, heat, and light causing a different type of energy to be observed after an interaction.
  • Heat is produced in many ways.
  • Heat can move via conduction.
  • The properties of different objects cause them to be able to absorb, reflect, and/or conduct energy.
  • Electric currents pass through a circuit.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Collaboratively plan and carry out an investigation that converts energy one form to another.
    • Identify the phenomenon.
    • Identify the evidence to address the purpose of the investigation.
    • Collect the data.
  • Construct an explanation using evidence about heat production.
  • Develop a model demonstrating that different objects can absorb, reflect, and/or conduct energy.
  • Develop a model demonstrating electric circuits.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects.
  • Heat energy can be produced in many ways.
  • The properties of objects, e.g. ability to absorb, reflect, or conduct energy, relate to their function.
  • Electric energy can be transferred through circuits.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Energy and Waves

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.2- Recognize different sources of heat; Identify materials that are conductors of heat, such as metals.


Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 8
Physical Science
16 ) Apply the law of conservation of energy to develop arguments supporting the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object (e.g., bowling ball hitting pins, brakes being applied to a car).


NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
P12.16: Total energy is conserved in a closed system.

NAEP Statement::
P8.12a: When energy is transferred from one system to another, the quantity of energy before transfer equals the quantity of energy after transfer.

NAEP Statement::
P8.12b: For example, as an object falls, its potential energy decreases as its speed, and consequently, its kinetic energy increases.

NAEP Statement::
P8.12c: While an object is falling, some of the object's kinetic energy is transferred to the medium through which it falls, setting the medium into motion and heating it.

NAEP Statement::
P8.8a: Objects and substances in motion have kinetic energy.

NAEP Statement::
P8.8b: For example, a moving baseball can break a window; water flowing down a stream moves pebbles and floating objects along with it.


Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Energy and Matter
Disciplinary Core Idea: Energy
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Apply the law of conservation of energy to develop arguments supporting the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Law of Conservation of Energy
  • Argument
  • Claim
  • Kinetic Energy
  • Energy Transfer
  • System
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Kinetic energy is energy that an object possesses due to its motion or movement.
  • Changes in kinetic energy may include changes in motion, temperature, or other observable features of an object.
  • When the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from that object.
  • When the kinetic energy of an object increases or decreases, the energy of other objects or the surroundings within the system increases or decreases, indicating that energy was transferred to or form the object.
  • The Law of Conservation of Energy states that in a closed system, the total energy of the system is conserved and energy is neither created nor destroyed.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Make a claim about a given explanation or model for a phenomenon, including the idea that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from that object .
  • Identify and describe the given evidence that supports the claim.
  • Evaluate the evidence and identify its strengths and weaknesses.
  • Use reasoning to connect the necessary and sufficient evidence and construct the argument.
  • Present oral or written arguments to support or refute the given explanation or model for the phenomenon.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • The law of conservation of energy states that in a closed system, the total amount of energy remains constant and energy is neither created nor destroyed.
  • Energy can be converted from one form to another, but the total energy within the system remains fixed.
  • Energy can be transferred between objects in the system.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Electricity, Waves, and Information Transfer

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.8.16- Make observations about energy transfers in common everyday occurrences (e.g., bowling ball hitting pins, brakes being applied to a bicycle or car).


Learning Objectives:

  • I can identify changes in potential and kinetic energy in a system.
  • I can give an example of kinetic energy being transferred from one object to another.
  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  
Phase:
Before/Engage
Activity:

Pre-assess students' understanding of "energy" by asking students: "What is energy?"


Guide the discussion to the conclusion that energy is the ability to make something happen (to "do work").

Review briefly with the students potential and kinetic energy.  Ask students:  "How do you know if something has potential energy?"  (It has the ability to make something happen.)  "What is kinetic energy?  (the energy of an object due to its motion).

Tell the students, Rube Goldberg machine is a machine intentionally designed to perform a simple task in an indirect and over-complicated fashion.  Most students may be familiar with the game, Mousetrap, as an example.  

Show the students the video, OK Go-This Too Shall Pass-Rube Goldberg Machine.  As the students watch, have them tally how many energy transfers they noticed (count the dominoes sequences as one).

Discussion questions: 

  • What was the initial source of energy?  (the push of the toy car-kinetic energy, and the positioning of the objects in the system-potential energy)
  • How many energy transfers did you see take place?  (Answers will vary depending on how observant students are.)
  • What was the final energy transfer?  (paint hitting human targets)
  • Does the energy just "get used up"?  (No, it is dissipated as heat.)
Assessment Strategies:

Use an "exit ticket" task: 

Give a specific example from the video of an energy transfer.  Include the words potential energy and kinetic energy in your response.


Advanced Preparation:

The teacher should preview video beforehand to make sure it is appropriate for his/her particular group of students.  The teacher may want to mute the sound.

Be familiar with definitions of energy, potential energy, kinetic energy, and momentum. 

Variation Tips (optional):

As an extension students could make simple Rube Goldberg machines using common items from the classroom or brought in from home and explain the energy transfers going on in their machines.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
 
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: energy transfer, kinetic energy, potential energy