# Teaching Energy Transformations in Physical Science

As science teachers, it is a goal of ours to bring the concepts we are teaching to life. To really show our students what we are talking about so that they can apply it to their real lives and so we can see that little light bulb turn on in their head when they understand. That’s the best part about teaching, right? Teaching energy transformations has always been that unit for me. That unit where you can see the figurative energy transformation occur and the light bulb turns on. When introducing energy transformations, you can start by telling students that those transformations are occurring ALL the time. Picking up your pencil? Energy transformation. Heating up a toaster pastry for breakfast before school? Energy transformation. Sneakily checking your phone during class to see if a friend texted you back? Energy transformation. These little examples get them interested and get them thinking.**Start by Introducing the Forms of Energy**

Before students can understand that energy transforms, we first need to tell them what forms of energy are out there, right?
**You’ll want to talk about:**

- Potential Energy
- Kinetic Energy
- Mechanical Energy
- Light (Radiant) Energy
- Chemical Energy
- Electromagnetic Energy
- Electrical Energy
- Nuclear Energy
- Sound Energy
- Thermal Energy & Heat

**Discuss what an Energy Transformation is**

Now that your students know and can identify the forms of energy, you can now discuss how those energy transformations occur. Start with the simple examples such as the ones below. The simple use of arrows allows them to actually see where the flow of energy is going. To teach all these concepts, students can complete a set of guided notes that goes along with a lesson. These notes make it easy for students to refer back to the information in their interactive science notebooks. They also align with NGSS standards **PS-PS3-5,**TEKS

**6.9C**and

**Florida**SC.7.P.11.2. Don’t forget to talk about energy efficiency and the Law of Conservation of Energy! For the most part, the standards don’t require students to know the math to calculate energy efficiency in middle school but always check with your district standards first.

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