Today we started and ended class by observing an instructor burn flash paper (a special kind of paper – don’t try this at home!). But between the first time and the last time, we learned a lot about energy!

Students had the opportunity to experience several different experiments, each involving different types of energy. At one station – in the dark – students broke a Wint-o-green mint (you can try this at home!) and saw a blue flash. They then determined which types of energy were involved in this reaction – elastic energy, light energy, and sound energy! At two different chemistry stations, students set up chemical reactions in which both their results involved bubbles and temperature changes, but were different in an important way. Ask your student how!

At the end of class, groups presented on their observations (what happened?) and the forms of energy involved at each station. We realized that we usually started observing one kind of energy and then observed other forms of energy at the end of the experiment. We concluded that energy changes form. In fact, this is the one of the most key scientific ideas: energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but can be converted from one form to another.

Ask your young physicist about their favorite experiment from today – you might be able to recreate it easily at home!


Hoy comenzamos y terminamos la clase observando al instructor quemando “papel de flash” (un tipo de papel especial, ¡no intentes esto en casa!). ¡Pero entre la primera y la segunda vez, aprendimos mucho sobre la energía!

Los estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de realizar varios experimentos diferentes, cada uno involucrando diferentes tipos de energía. En una de las estaciones, en la oscuridad, los estudiantes rompieron una pastilla de menta (Wint-o-green mint) y vieron un destello azul (¡esto sí que lo puedes probar en casa!). Luego determinaron qué tipos de energía estaban involucrados en esta reacción: energía elástica, energía de la luz y energía del sonido. En las estaciones de química, los estudiantes realizaron dos reacciones químicas, pero ambas reacciones produjeron burbujas y cambios de temperatura. Pregúntele a su estudiante cual es la diferencia entre las dos reacciones.

Al final de la clase, los grupos presentaron sus observaciones (¿qué pasó?) y las formas de energía involucradas en cada estación. Nos dimos cuenta de que usualmente comenzábamos a observar un tipo de energía y luego observamos otras formas de energía al final del experimento. Concluimos que la energía cambia de forma. De hecho, esta es una de las ideas científicas más importantes: la energía no puede ser creada ni destruida, sino que puede convertirse de una forma a otra.

Pregúntale a tu joven físico sobre su experimento favorito de hoy; ¡podrás recrearlo fácilmente en casa!

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