Many students strongly link energy with movement and/or force
Many students tend to associate energy with movement or force, leading to confusion in using terms like energy, power, and force interchangeably. They struggle to differentiate between energy and work, often stating that "energy is a force" or that "a force is the ability to do work." Additionally, students may mistakenly claim that an object at rest has no energy, using phrases such as "no movement" or "everything is inert".
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
Two complementary descriptions (11-14)
It is important to recognise from the very outset that this description of the action of fuels, in terms of energy and energy stores, is theoretical or abstract in nature. It doesn't belong to discussion in the everyday, or lived-in world. This resource discusses energy and energy stores in terms of the lived-in world.View Resource
Getting to know the joule and the watt (11-16)
Students use a hand-turned generator to gain direct experience in measuring energy transfer and to get a ‘feel’ for the size of a joule and the size of a watt.View Resource
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- Loverude, M. E. () Student Understanding Of Gravitational Potential Energy And The Motion Of Bodies In A Gravitational Field, AIP Conference Proceedings, 77, 790, California State University Fullerton, American Institute of Physics.