Few students use ideas about energy and energy conservation and are more likely to use ideas like speed or force

Energy and Thermal Physics | Forces and Motion


Diagnostic Resources

The following worksheets may help to identify whether students hold this particular misconception.

For more information, see the University of York BEST website.

The below diagnostic questions focus on energy transfer. If students are uncomfortable using ideas about energy and energy conservation, it may well be highlighted by these questions. 

Resources to Address This

  • Shifting and conserving energy (11-14)

    Ref - SPT En02 PN08

    Remember to distinguish between the observations and physics story,and the energy story.   The next step in this energy story involves recognising that when one energy store empties, another energy store elsewhere must be filling. The energy is just shifted from store to store. Energy is not used up, but is conserved.

    View Resource


  • Neumann, K.; Viering, T.; Boone, W. J. and Fischer, H. E. () Towards a Learning Progression of Energy, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50, (2)


    Review sheet

  • Finegold, M. and Trumper, R. () Categorizing pupils' explanatory frameworks in energy as a means to the development of a teaching approach, Research in Science Education, 19,


    Review sheet

  • Legett, M. () Lessons that non-scientists can teach us about the concept of energy: a human-centred approach, Physics Education, 38,


    Review sheet

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