Kinetic Energy

The Kinetic Energy MatchCard provides hands-on demonstrations and explanation of actual and potential energy.

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kinetic energy worksheet
Light & Energy Unit Study

Using the Kinetic Emergy MatchCard

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This is MatchCard #15 of the Energy Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.

Two Types of Kinetic Energy

Objective: Compare potential and actual kinetic energy.

There are two types of energy: So you don't think potential energy is really energy? Imagine you are standing under a heavy branch of an old oak tree that is full of snow. You start to hear a cracking sound as the weight of the snow begins to weaken the branch. Feel like moving? Could we say you have some potential energy overhead?

Let's Experiment with Kinetic Energy

You will need the following:
Perform the following steps:

Learn About the Two Types of Kinetic Energy

Gravitational Potential Energy

Potential energy is the stored energy. When you were holding the bolt, gravity gave the bolt potential energy.

In the example above, the snow-filled tree branch had potential energy. Can you think of other examples of potential energy? Make a list of other examples of potential energy.

Actual Energy

Actual energy is the energy of a moving object. It occurred as the bolt was moving.

Can you think of other forms of actual energy? Make a list of examples of actual energy.

The Kinetic Formula

Two factors increase the amount of energy in a moving object: The formula for the energy of motion is:

EK = (1/2)mv2

What's that supposed to mean?

Kinetic Energy = (1/2 the mass of an object) X (the velocity squared)

About the Root Kinet

Kinet is the Greek word for motion. That’s where we get the word for kinetics.

A kinesthetic learner is someone who learns best by physical movement. Are you a kinesthetic learner?

Kinesiology is the study of human movement. How would you like to be a kinesiologist? One of their functions is to modify equipment to make it more comfortable and practical for human use.

MatchCard Science

How To Use MatchCards


MatchCards make science concepts and corresponding vocabulary interactive. As students move the information pieces on the MatchCards they review the material they have already learned.

Download the FREE MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide and see how MatchCards can make building their science knowledge base fun.

Light and Energy Unit Study

Light & Energy Unit Study Cover

Kids will be energized to learn more about how the world works as they learn about light, magnetic energy, heat energy, electrical energy, thermal energy, kinetic energy and more. .

Download the entire Light and Energy unit study.

12 Science Unit Studies

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Chemistry is only one of twelve complete unit studies for kids in 3rd to 8th grade.

Comprehensive objectives, hands-on projects, suggested science fair experiments, and the fun game-like MatchCards keep them interested in learning science. See all twelve MatchCard Science Unit Studies.

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