Illawarra Environmental Education Centre logo

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Illawarra Environmental Education Centre

Telephone02 4237 6100

Energy and Forces

Physical World

Stage 2 Science and Technology


IEEC, Killalea Regional Park

Incursion available through consultation with the IEEC

Program overview

This program focuses upon the transformation and uses of energy and the way in which forces can be classified and applied to affect the movement of objects. Using a range of models, tools and scientific equipment, students investigate, observe and measure the behaviors of light, effects and transfer of heat energy and generate electricity sustainably through the use of solar cells, hydroelectricity and wind turbines. Students recognise the way forces can affect objects with or without touching them, including the pushing and pulling of contact and non-contact forces and the impact of such forces upon the motion of objects. Students will be equipped with a field journal, allowing a range of measurements, results and observations to be collected for further examination and use back in the classroom to identify patterns and trends in gathered data.

Inquiry and focus questions

  • How do light, heat and electrical energy make things happen?
  • How can objects affect other objects with or without touching them?
  • How can we use forces and energy in a product or system?

Learning experiences  

Pushes and Pulls - initiative activities

Students engage in a range of parachute games, 4 way tug o war competition and complete a range of physical challenges which require teamwork and problem solving skills to formulate a solution. Each activity requires a range of pushing or pulling forces (both contact and non-contact) in order to successfully complete. Students apply their knowledge of forces across a range of force diagrams provided in their workbook.Teachers are recommended to take digital photographs which may be utilized to formulate further force diagrams as a post-excursion activity on an interactive whiteboard.

Light Ray Experiments

Students are led through the safe use and application of Light Ray boxes to test the impact of lenses, prisms and mirrors upon the travel and behavior of light. A variety of procedures are followed to identify and describe light behaviours including reflection, refraction and absorption which will be documented within the student’s workbook.

Renewable Energy Generation

Students are introduced to electrical energy and the different ways it may be generated. Students examine the function of generators and how they can be powered through renewable sources by pedaling an energy bike, use of a variety of hand wound generators, examine and use of wind turbines and the examination of a hydroelectric system. The bountiful energy from solar sources is examined by utilizing solar panels to generate renewable electricity from the sun and the use of a solar oven to heat and cook a tasty snack.

Rube Goldburg

Students will investigate and research a range of provided materials, components, tools and techniques to produce a product that can store and utilise energy for a purpose, eg: motion. A simple problem, such as the transport of a small payload across a defined area will be presented, and students must define and critique a range of design opportunities and solutions to produce a small, self propelled vehicle which can overcome the outlined challenge (delivery of payload). Each design will be tested and evaluated against a clear criteria for success.

Key syllabus outcomes

Science K-6

S2 - Physical World

A student:

  • Investigates the behaviour of light (ACSSU080)

  • Describes the effect of heat energy and how it may be conducted (ACSSU049)

  • Explores some commons sources and uses of electrical energy and describes different ways electrical energy can be generated sustainably (ACSSU219)

  • Identifies that both pushes and pulls can tact or non-contact forces (ACSSU076)

  • Observe how contact and non-contact forces cause changes in the motion of objects (ACSSU076)

  • Investigate how forces and materials interact in a product or system to perform a function (ACTDEK011)