What Is Potential Energy?

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  • Secondary
  • Year 8
  • Science
  • Physics
  • Environmental
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Ever seen a roller coaster at the very top of a big hill, or pulled back a rubber band until it's super stretched? Well, guess what? Those are examples of something called 'potential energy.' It's like a special kind of hidden energy that things have because of where they are or how they're set up.

Put simply, sustainability means 'enough for everyone, forever'. It describes the ability for things to keep going at the same rate and in just as good condition as before. It is tempting for humans to think that we should be able to do anything we want. Unfortunately nature does not work like this – our planet has limits. Every living system can only take so much use before it starts to weaken and decline. When this decline reaches a tipping point the living system slows down and can never reclaim its former glory.

Curriculum Mapping

Australian Curriculum (v9.0) content description: Year 8 Science

Classify different types of energy as kinetic or potential and investigate energy transfer and transformations in simple systems (AC9S8U05)

Year 8 Achievement Standards

By the end of Year 8, students compare different forms of energy and represent transfer and transformation of energy in simple systems.

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