Many students do not think energy is conserved in biological processes, and see these as either using energy, or ‘making energy’ that can subsequently be used

Energy and Thermal Physics


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.

Resources to Address This

  • Human energy, food and exercise (11-16)

    This activity involves considering the energy stored in foodstuffs and the energy demanded by human activity.

    View Resource


  • Opitz, S. T.; Blankenstein, A. and Harms, U. () Student conceptions about energy in biological contexts, Journal of Biological Education, 51, (4) 427-440.

    This German study investigates conceptions of energy in biological contexts including how energy forms, energy transfer, dissipation and energy conservation are applied and understood by students aged 10-16.

    Paper digest

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