Here is your race car ready to go for miles and you can be truly proud!

Here is your race car ready to go for miles and you can be truly proud!

Launch the race car by attaching an elastic at the rear of the stabilizer and then moving the car backwards stretching the elastic at the same time. When you pull the elastic back and stretch it, you do WORK.

Your work is the FORCE times the DISTANCE you pull the elastic back.

It’s now POTENTIAL ENERGY stored in the stretched elastic.

Let go… and the potential energy  ACCELERATES the car forward.

All the potential energy changes in KINETIC ENERGY in the moving car.

The car slows down as a result of FRICTION and the energy is lost as waste into the big blue universe!

Do some more work, repeat the launch procedure: store POTENTIAL ENERGY in the elastic, let it go and change into KINETIC ENERGY, and then into wasted energy.

If you race the car against a friend, then the car that goes farthest has the least FRICTION and the least waste, it is the most EFFICIENT!


When you pedal your bicycle uphill you do a lot of work; all that energy becomes POTENTIAL ENERGY.

On top of the hill, you can coast downhill and all that potential energy is now going into KINETIC ENERGY.

The faster you go the more kinetic energy you build up…

Don’t crash because all that  kinetic energy will change into bending your bike and bruising your body, and then it is lost forever, and you hurt a lot.

jonathan soccer june 09

Another example of KINETIC ENERGY…


spring clock mech

An other example of POTENTIAL energy.

A clock with a wind-up spring is an example of stored energy.

When you wind the clock, your bio-chemical energy from your muscles is stored in the steel spring as potential energy , in the same way as the elastic of the race car.

The spring has tension and the tension force drives the gears of the clock to move the hour and minute hands.

After a couple of days all spring energy is lost and you have to wind the clock again…

Occasionally you should lubricate the gears to lower the FRICTION and let the clock run longer and better.


spring pogo high

One more example of KINETIC and POTENTIAL energy.

The Pogo jumper at the  highest point has lots of POTENTIAL energy.

When rushing down  it all becomes KINETIC energy.

And when the Pogo spring hits the ground, it is compressed, kinetic energy is changes into potential energy inside the spring, then…

Up you go and the cycle repeats itself.

Don’t try this yourself, it needs lots of practice and look, you need elbow pads, knee pads and especially a helmet. 

What happens with the kinetic energy if the Pogo jumper crashes?????

Now have a look at building a race car.


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