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View Resource Teaching About Energy: Power of a Student

This student activity is designed to help students understand the concept of power. The energy required to climb stairs, and the rate at which students can do this, illustrates this concept. The energy requirements for other common activities are given to help students calculate their energy needs. Included are notes for instructors wishing to use this material. This activity is part of a PTRA...

View Resource Teaching About Energy: Designing a Roller Coaster

This student activity is designed to explore the concept of work. Using inclined planes with different slopes, students are lead to discover the invariance of force times distance for objects starting at the same height. Included are notes for instructors wishing to use this material. This activity is part of a PTRA manual on Energy.

View Resource Design a Roller Coaster

This website allows students to design a simple roller coaster, and it then evaluates the roller coaster based on physical principles such as potential energy and circular motion. It rates the roller coaster on safety and on fun, and it gives an explanation of the ratings for each section of the roller coaster.

View Resource Counting Calories

This article by Paul Doherty, Senior Scientist at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, describes the burning peanut experiment and provides an introduction to food energy and how it is measured. The site presents an explanation of how food energy is converted to other forms in the human body. Also included is a discussion of the first law of thermodynamics and calorimetry with applications to...

View Resource Center of Gravity

This activity from the Exploratorium provides a technique for determining the center of gravity of a long, thin object using only one?s hands. A yard stick, with a piece of clay to displace its center of mass, is placed on a participants separated hands. Each time the hands are slid together, they meet under the stick?s center of gravity. Materials needed, assembly, and an explanation of the...

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