Students at lower secondary stage first perceive energy as activity, or the ability to do work.

Energy and Thermal Physics


As their understanding progresses, they begin to distinguish different energy sources and forms of energy. Next comes an understanding of energy transfer, followed by a recognition of energy degradation, and finally an acceptance of the concept of conservation of energy.


  • Trumper, R. () Children's energy concepts: a cross‐age study, International Journal of Science Education, 15, (2)


    Review sheet

  • 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)


    Review sheet

IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

New videos on forces

Our first collection of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

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