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Every object on earth has potential energy. That means it COULD move even if it isn’t right now. When an object IS moving it has kinetic energy.
In today’s demonstration you are going to store energy in a spring. That spring will have the potential to move, but it won’t move until you let it move. The catapult you make is going to transfer energy from the spring to a marshmallow. The marshmallow will have potential energy until the catapult releases, then the marshmallow will have kinetic energy as it flies through the air.
You Will Need:
- Masking Tape
- Plastic Spoon
- Clothes Pin
Here are some websites and books that will help you understand energy:
- US Energy Information Administration: What is Energy?
- Physics4Kids: Energy Around Us
- ENWIN Utilities: Types of Energy
- Gadgets and Gizmos Chapter on Energy “Energize” (pages 111-136). Marshmallow Catapult (Pages 120-122).
- Science Experiments That Fly and Move (pages 12-13) Marshmallow Shooter
Words to Know:
Energy – the ability to move things or do work; a force acting through a distance.
Potential Energy – Stored energy.
Kinetic Energy – The energy of motion.
Catapult – A device used to throw an object…like a slingshot or a medieval catapult the knights at a castle might use.