Thursday, March 22, 2012

STEM Friday: Energy

written by Matt Mullins
2012 (Scholastic)
Source: Orange County Library

Check out STEM Friday at Archimedes Notebook

If you teach force and motion in science, you will want to find a copy of Energy. Don't let the size of the book fool you. Matt Mullins has provided a comprehensive overview of the subject in this small book. He starts off the first chapter with an explanation of atoms and what is inside them. This is followed by information about potential energy and kinetic energy. One of the strengths of Energy is the author's connections of ideas to every day items. A rubber band helps illustrate the concept of potential energy vs. kinetic energy. Chapter two reveals several types of potential energy. Topics include gravitational, elastic, chemical, and nuclear energy. Moving objects get their due in the third chapter. Types of kinetic energy that are explored include sound, radiant, thermal, and electrical energy. Within this chapter you have a section on renewable vs. nonrenewable sources of energy. The final chapter explains how energy is constantly changing form but the amount of energy never changes. I really like the sequence on page 38 where an apple on a table leads to several different changes of form. In the back matter is a list of resources (books, websites, museums) that can be used for further research.

If you are new to teaching force and motion, Energy is a great primer for the subject. Each section would be a good introduction to your sub-units within the subject of force and motion. This book provides several good ideas for demonstrations in the classroom. It would also be a useful resource for talking about global warming as well.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this book - now you've got me curious about what happens to an apple on a table. I can imagine all kinds of things, but they involve knives, stoves, and forks....