Energy Skate Park Basics

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This simulation allows students to learn about conservation of energy with a skater dude! Students can explore different tracks and investigate the relationship between the kinetic energy, potential energy, and thermal energy of the skater. They can also build their own tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater.

Learning outcomes include:

*Explain the Conservation of Mechanical Energy concept using kinetic energy (KE) and gravitational potential energy (PE).

*Describe how the energy bar and pie charts relate to position and speed.

*Explain how changing the skater mass affects energy.

*Explain how changing the track friction affects energy.

*Predict position or estimate speed from energy bar and pie charts.

*Calculate speed or height at one position from information about a different position.

*Calculate KE and PE at one position from information about a different position.

*Design a skate park using the concepts of mechanical energy and energy conservation.

Sample challenges:

*Design an experiment to determine the relationship between kinetic energy and speed.

*Build a track with a loop that the skater can complete.

*At what point on the track does most of the energy get transferred to thermal energy? Why?

Sample questions:

*Given the energy bar graph, determine the skater’s speed.

*Match the skater’s energy pie chart with his location on the track.

*If the skater’s kinetic energy is getting larger, determine the direction of his motion.

*Determine if the skater can make it over a hill given his starting location.

Curriculum links include:

• Conservation of Energy
• Kinetic Energy
• Potential Energy
• Thermal Energy
• Energy
• Friction

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Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

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