Kinetic Potential Energy Science Projects

Written by rich nelson
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Kinetic Potential Energy Science Projects
Roller coasters use kinetic and potential energy to push and pull riders. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Exploration of energy issues can occur at all ages and in all sciences. Projects suitable for elementary to college-level students can provide useful ways to demonstrate kinetic and potential energy. Physics stands as the main science that explains energy, and most kinetic and potential energy science projects belong in a classroom setting similar to high school physics.

Egg Drop

The egg drop kinetic and potential energy science project works well for first-year physics students. It displays how dropping an egg from a desired height causes several energy transformations. The potential energy of the egg is all of the energy to begin with because the force of gravity will soon act on the egg. The kinetic energy that goes into the impact changes with the height of the egg-drop project. The force of gravity changes the potential energy into kinetic energy of motion while an egg falls.

Inclined Planes

The inclined plane acts like a runway for objects to roll down. An object changes more potential energy into kinetic energy as an incline becomes steeper. First-year physics students often get exposed to this type of kinetic and potential energy project. It presents many examples of using simple equations to predict the results, which offers great insight into the use of angles in physics and other energy-related subjects as well.


Many kinetic and potential energy science projects are complex, but at least one project explains the transforming of energy in a simple way: the game "leapfrog." When one student hops over the next and returns to a frog position, many interactions take place. All of the potential energy "stored" by returning to the frog position gets "released" as kinetic energy by leaping.

Chemical Thermodynamics

All chemicals have kinetic energy called temperature. By temperature, physicists mean the rate of vibrations within chemicals. This kinetic and potential energy science project displays the energy transferring of temperature. Kinetic energy in chemicals, like water, relates to the temperature of the chemicals. The kinetic energy represents the motion of this vibration. Test the amount of energy it takes to heat and cool one cup of water and determine how much it takes to perform the same temperature change with five cups. The source of heat acts like potential energy for the water, and the water acts as the potential energy for the source of cooling, usually fire and ice respectively.

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