Energy and the Electromagnetic Spectrum

MSPNG-3 - Middle School (NGSS) - Physical Science

Drawing of two children on a roller coaster.

In Energy and the Electromagnetic Spectrum, middle school students continue their exploration into energy by delving into the concept of energy and energy transfer through the exploration of the transfer of energy between kinetic energy and potential energy within the system of a roller coaster. Students will continue their study of energy and waves by planning investigations, testing devices, developing models, and looking at thermal and kinetic energy and their transfers. Students will use mathematical representations to describe waves and observe wave reflection, absorption, and transmission.


Student-led investigations throughout this unit will help them to answer the basic questions of “What is the relationship among energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample?” and “What is the relationship to kinetic energy by the mass and speed of an object?”


Engineering: Students will design, test and refine a roller coaster that explains the transfer of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy. 


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Unit-at-a-Glance 

Next Generation Science Standards

Kit Offerings

+ Phenomena

+ Assessments

+ Student Journal (Spanish Avail.)

+ Student Journal Answer Key

+ Writing Rubrics

Other Courses in this Grade

Forces: Contact and Non-Contact

MSPNG-1 - Middle School (NGSS) - Physical Science

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Particles of Matter and Chemical Reactions

MSPNG-2 - Middle School (NGSS) - Physical Science

View Unit

Kit Offerings

+ Phenomena

+ Assessments

+ Student Journal (Spanish Avail.)

+ Student Journal Answer Key

+ Writing Rubrics