This activity groups items related to energy that seem similar and challenges students to chose which item in the group is not like the others. Students use supporting evidence to explain their reasoning.
Note that the Playground Physics app is not required for this lesson.
Introduce the Activity (5 minutes)
Activity (15 minutes)
Discussion (20 minutes)
Remember these responses are only best answers and with any good argument students may come up with alternative responses. As long as their claim is supported with enough evidence or reasoning, it is acceptable.
Sample response: A tennis ball has PE as well as KE; the other three scenarios only have KE because they are on the ground and have no PE relative to the Earth; the tennis ball over the net is the odd one out.
Sample response: A bowling ball rolling down the lane is the odd one out, it does not have any potential energy; the other three all have PE relative to the ground because they have height
Alternative response: One could argue that the rock on a slingshot has spring potential energy while the others have gravitational potential energy, but here you’ll have to argue that the bowling lane is on a second story floor or somehow above the ground.
Sample response: Potential energy is the odd one out; speed and mass are components of kinetic energy which makes them a group where potential energy is left out.
Alternative response: Speed is the odd one out; mass is a component of potential energy and kinetic energy which makes them a group where speed is left out.
Sample response: An airplane in flight is the odd one out; in all of the other scenarios, the total of kinetic energy plus gravitational potential energy remains the same while the object is in the air; the airplane has extra energy from the engine so if you added together KE and PE it would not be the same amount while the airplane is in the air.
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