The Energy Story

  Energy Is Born
  Energy Types
  Energy Changes
  Energy Generation

The Energy Problem

  Conservation of Energy
  Aging of Energy
  Finite Resources
  The Oil "Crisis"
  Energy Pollution
  Discussion Topics

The Energy Solution

  Conserving Electricity
  Appliance Efficiency
  Heating Conservation
  Renewable Energy

Web Links

Teacher Guide

About the Author

Secret Lives Title - The Energy Story

Energy Changes

We have found so far that energy comes in a number of different forms and that we can make a list of 10 types of energy to help us identify and talk about energy.

Not only does energy come in different types, but it is constantly changing from one type into another. As we will see, this changing from one type of energy to another is the basis for most of our household appliances, the design of our power plants, and how our body keeps itself going.

Many science fiction stories have speculated that the ultimate form of life is in the form of pure energy. This property of energy to constantly change itself makes it seem almost alive.

The information and exercises below will help you to understand and identify these energy changes.

Examples of Changes Specific examples of energy changing from one type into another.

Fill In Exercise

Fill in the energy in and energy out for these examples.

Energy Chains Energy can keep changing over and over forming energy "chains."
Rube Goldberg Project Draw a Rube Goldberg machine and show the energy changes.
Energy Changes Game Download the energy changes game. More information is given below.

Energy Changes Game

In this game you will need to identify the energy changes for a number of events. See how many points you can get out of a possible total of 140.

The game can be run on any PC using Windows 95 or better. You will need to download the installenergygame.exe file. After downloading, the game can be installed by running or double clicking on the installenergygame.exe file.

Fli animation files provided courtesy of Animation Festival.

Introductory Example

The animation below requires the Macromedia flash player. If you don't see the animation, you can download and install the flash player from the following site: Download Flash Player

As a first example of energy changing from one type to another, the animation below shows the pistons in a car engine. The gasoline fuel (chemical energy) is introduced and then ignited by the spark plug. The chemical energy that is released turns into the mechanical energy of the moving pistons.

Created by Tom Chandler, OME educator, 2001-02