This activity demonstrates the conversion of energy into usable forms through a demonstration showing the conversion of potential chemical energy to heat energy.
Students will discussion how to improve this process to create electrical energy.
This activity demonstrates the conversion of energy into usable forms.
The teacher will start the combustion demonstration by placing a
pinwheel on a ring stand above a flask of water and lighting a sterno
beneath. While waiting for the water to boil, the teacher will explain that
the system represents components of a fossil fuel plant. The teacher will
draw an energy flow diagram of the system identifying how the potential
chemical energy in the sterno is converted to heat energy in the water,
which is converted to mechanical energy in the pinwheel. Students will
understand that energy losses occur as energy is converted from one
form to another. When the water boils and the pinwheel begins to spin,
the teacher will lead a class discussion on how the system could be
improved to create electrical energy.
Students will be able to:
• Observe the conversion
of chemical energy to heat
energy to mechanical
• Create a model that shows
the energy losses occurring
as energy is converted from
one form to another.
• Evaluate different types of
energy and determine ways
in which energy can be
• Discuss and formulate
a list of ideas that would
improve upon the efficiency
of energy harnessing
Grades 6 – 9