By lower secondary stage, many pupils also associate energy with fuels and with electricity

Energy and Thermal Physics

Misconception RESEARCH REVIEW

Resources to Address This

  • Burning fuels gets jobs done (11-14)

    Ref - SPT En02 PN01

    Fuels are useful chemicals that we can burn to get things done. The fuel might be a can of petrol, a chocolate snack bar, or a cylinder of camping gas. Any of these fuels can be made to react with the oxygen in the air to get a job done.

    The thermal energy can be used to generate electricity.

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  • Energy and generating electricity (11-16)

    Ref - Practical physics; Energy; Introducing energy; Energy and generating electricity

    In discussing energy in everyday life, mains electricity is almost certain to come up. Mains electricity transfers energy from power stations to devices we use every day. 

    Discussion of ‘resources’ for generating electricity might lead on to so-called ‘renewable’ resources such as wind, sunlight and waves. ‘Wind energy’ and ‘solar energy’ are in everyday use. However, it is more useful to refer to 'wind power' and 'solar power', as the 'power' designation more accurately refers to the process of transferring energy per second.

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References

  • Trumper, R. () A Longitudinal Study of Physics Students' Conceptions on Energy in Pre-Service Training for High School Teachers, Journal of Science Education and Technology, 7, (4)

    311-318.

    Review sheet

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