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Types of Energy

Energy is the capacity to do work. Our energy comes from food, which contains stored chemical energy. Our bodies take the stored chemical energy and converts it to mechanical energy, heat energy or other forms of energy. Light, sound, heat, and electricity are forms of energy.

"Movement energy" is called kinetic energy. Objects that move have kinetic energy. The object may be a basketball or a tiny atom.

Potential energy is stored energy. An apple sitting on the edge of a table has stored potential energy. The potential energy changes to kinetic energy when the apple falls to the ground. A compressed spring has potential energy. That potential energy is converted to kinetic energy when the compressed spring is released.

Work happens when a force moves something over a distance. The distance can be very long or very short. The object moved can be very large or it can be microscopic.

Everything that does work uses energy:

· A growing tree uses energy.
· A person uses energy to move and grow.
· A toaster uses energy to make it brown the bread.
· A light bulb uses energy to glow and produce heat.
(To learn more check out: http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/whatsenergy.html)

Sun Facts

Sol is not only the name that ancient Romans gave to their Sun god but also another name for the Sun. The sun doesn't set at all in the South Pole during October or November.

Solar Power is what we call electricity generated from the sun.
Every second the sun releases the same amount of energy as a million hydrogen bombs.

Alternative Energy

The Sun (Solar Power)
We can use the light of the sun to create electricity! The sun shines on "solar cells" - you've probably seen them on the roofs of houses. When the sun hits the solar cells, it causes a chemical reaction, which generates electricity!

We can use the power of blowing wind to create electricity! The wind turns a large "fan," which then powers a generator that makes electricity.

We use the very high heat of the inside of the Earth to make electricity. Underground water reservoirs are heated by the very hot rocks of the crust (which are heated by magma below them, which is heated by the extremely hot core). We use this hot water to make steam, which powers a generator that makes electricity.

Renewable energy means it comes from a source that's constantly renewed - the wind keeps blowing, the sun keeps shining, and the Earth keeps heating underground rocks. This energy will be around for as long as the Earth is, so we don't have to worry about running out of it.

(Source: http://www.eren.doe.gov/kids/)

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