Session #2: Potential to Kinetic


This session begins with a look at the nature of science and a review of meteorology and the importance of energy imbalance and transfer. The focus then turns to the transfer of potential energy to kinetic and how that transfer shapes the earth's surface.

Jump to: Stressing the Nature of Science | Energy Transfer in Meteorology| Potential to Kinetic| Looking at the Big Ideas


Stressing the Nature of Science

There are several activities that can be used to model the process of science. In this activity students use evidence gained by gradually revealing jigsaw puzzle pieces to experience the process of science.

What's the Picture?

Energy Transfer in Meteorology

Sr. Oswaldo Garcia, Professor of Meteorology at San Francisco State University discusses the explanation for and importance of mid-latitude storms and shares several excellent web resources.

Energy Transfer in Meterology

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Potential to Kinetic

Following a quick review of forms of energy, we explored a series of examples illustrating how the transfer of potential energy to kinetic can shape the earth's surface. These include impact craters, landslides, earthquakes, the effects of wave action, and the energy of removal and accumulation.

Review of Energy

A. Craters
Since falling objects are the classic example of potential eneregy to kinetic energy, we can use falling objects to show how kinetic energy can effect the earth's surface. We will begin our exploration with impact craters.

Activity: What's the Impact?

B. Landslides
Landslides are good examples of mass movement caused by the conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy.

Introduction to Landslides

Activity: The Whoosh Factor

C. Earthquakes
An earthquake is a movement of the ground caused by the sudden release of potential energy to kinetic energy.

Exploring Earthquakes and the Modified Mercalli Scale

D. Wave Action
The energy from wave activity is important in the erosion and deposition of materials.

A Virtual Exploration of the beach

Activity: Exploring the Sands

E. Applying What We've Learned- Fossil Interpretations
Teachers were given samples of fossiliferous material from the Dominican Republic and asked to apply what they had learned from earlier exercises in order to interpret the history.


Looking at the Big Ideas

The Earth is a Dynamic Structure

Updated November 1, 2002

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