Science Units (5th Grade)

Interactive Vocabulary:

"What is the best combination of factors to make an RC car go fastest or farthest? Experiment with different motors, batteries, and car weights to find out." Choose Racing RC Cars.
Cute site that explains Newton's Three Laws of Motion very well with some simple, but convincing animation.
A. Bowman created this gadget of the swinging pedulum to help display Newton's Laws of Motion.
Various experiments are listed in PDF format.

Find out ways friction can be a help or a foe.
Using the playground physics, see who might be the winner of a fair race down the slide.




"Magnet Man," aka Rick Hoadley has created a fantastic site that covers all things "magnetic." Scroll down the site. The parts that are underlined are links. Be sure to read "Safety Considerations" before doing ANY magnet experiments at home. You must ALSO have your parents permission to do any experiments at home.

Check out the magnets that you have in your kitchen!

Try to pick up as many iron filings as you can! Try changing variables such as the voltage, the number of wire winds around the magnet, the type of wire, and the thickness of the wire until the electromagnet begins to pick up filings.

Watch the video to see how you can make a simple generator.

Click on the video icon to see a short video that explains how water is used to make electricity.
Links: up items in the junkyard, analyze and predict if they will make a mixture or a solution, and then check your results.


Forms of Energy
This site gives a quick reference chart that categorizes the forms of energy as Potential Energy or Kinetic Energy.
Great review and introduction to the forms of energy under the categories of Potential and Kinetic Energy.

Potential and Kinetic Energy
GREAT roller coaster simulation that shows the relationship between potential energy and kinetic energy. Roller coaster simulation. Virtual roller coaster workbench.
This site is very much like the roller coaster workbench. Get all of the variables right, or your roller coaster will fly off of the track!
Watch how the potential energy and kinetic energy changes as the roller coaster runs through the track.

Learn about pendulums which can also be used to show potential and kinetic energy.

Light Energy
Reflecting Light
Click the flashlight to send the beam of light across the grid. Use the path of the light to determine if there is a mirror. When you find a mirror, click on an icon from the lower right that would reflect the light and click the square on the grid to plac the icon in that location. Move the flashlight around the grid to figure out the shape of the hidden object. When you think you have drawn it in correclty, take a guess by hitting the guess button. You get 3 guesses. Be careful! You might run out of batteries and/or beams.
Colored Light
Pay close attention to the directions. After you darag a lightbulb to the flashlight, don't forget to turn it on by clicking the orange "on" button.
Some experiments about light energy are listed here in PDF format.

Sound Energy
Some experiments about sound energy are listed here in PDF format.

Solar Energy

Electrical Energy Cute and quick explanation of what electricity is and how a circuit works. Be sure to click on the images as directed to see some animation. of experiments in PDF format.
Test your knowledge on how electricity can be used to light a lightbulb, for example.

Energy Chain
Examples of energy chains shown and explained.
Follow the ways energy changes form as it makes different machines work.
Scroll to the bottom to see an example of an energy chain.
A food chain is an example of an energy chain.

What a great example of the transfer of energy. What kinds of energy do you observe here?

Renewable, Nonrenewable, Inexhaustible Energy
Energy WebQuest to become expertrs on renewable and nonrenewable energy.
Identify the resource as renewable, nonrenewable, or inexhaustible.
Lesson Plans from Discovery Education and GM.

Energy Scavenger Hunt Websites

Conserving Energy / Saving Energy / Energy Efficiency
Learn the difference between "saving energy" and "energy efficiency."
Help Lolly save Earth from the Energy Monkeys from space.

Energy Conservation Regulations of Birmingham Public Schools


A student created a soccer ball that stores energy during play which can then be used to power items like a light. VERY cool!