Physical Science

Physical Science

Scientific Investigation
Matter & Density
Properties & Changes of Matter
Atoms & Compounds
Chemical Reactions
Introduction to Motion
Newton's Laws
Simple Machines
Kinetic & Potential Energy
Thermal Energy
Electromagnetic & Sound Energy
Magnetism & Electricity
Final Exam Review

Potential & Kinetic Energy Lab



Name: ____________________________________________________________ Period: ________

Date: _________________________                                                Lab: Potential and Kinetic Energy

 Part A: Trains

In the space below draw a diagram of the train tracks.




  1. On your diagram, label the place where the train would have the most potential energy.  Use the letter A.
  2. Use a B to label where the train would have the least potential energy.
  3. What happens to the kinetic energy as the train goes down the first hill? ______________________________________________________
  4. Compare the green and yellow trains to each other.  Which one most likely has a higher mass? _____________________________________
  5. Without pushing the train, roll the green one down the track.  Repeat with the yellow train. What did you observe? _________________________________________________________________________
  6. Why do you think the green train went farther? _________________________________________________________________________

Part B: Rollercoaster

In the space below draw a diagram of the rollercoaster.  Label the following points with the corresponding letter.

  • A Maximum PE
  • B Minimum PE
  • C Maximum KE
  • D Minimum KE

  1. On some trials the rollercoaster car did not make the complete loop.  List two reasons why it might not always make the loop.
    1. ____________________________________________________________________
    2. ____________________________________________________________________
  2. What improvements could be made to the rollercoaster set up? List at least 2 and explain how your idea would make the rollercoaster better.
    1. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    2. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Part C: Marble Run


  1. One marble has a red stripe and one marble has a yellow stripe.  Place the red marble in the higher launch pad.  Place the yellow in the other launch pad.
  2. Release the marble at the same exact time.
  3. In the table below, keep a tally of which marble finishes first.
  4. Repeat b and c 10 times.
  5. Answer the questions that follow.

Data Table:






  1. What color marble finished first most often? _____________________________________
  2. Which marble had more ramps to travel across? ____________________________________
  3. Which marble had the most potential energy? _____________________________________
  4. Write a statement that compares the distance traveled to the amount of potential energy for each marble. 
  5. Use more than one sentence. ____________________________________________________



  For comments or questions please contact Mrs. Burton.
  Email or
  Call 518.279.4600  x 1206
  Last updated: March 22, 2013
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