FOSS Next Generation Energy

Grades 4

Students explore the concepts of energy and change, waves, and energy transfer in the Energy Module. They experience electricity and magnetism as related effects and learn useful applications of electromagnetism in everyday life. They also consider energy transfer, force, and motion in different systems.

Investigation 1: Energy and Circuits

Students investigate electric current and circuits. They work with a variety of components and explore conductors and insulators. Students explore series and parallel circuits and compare the functioning of the components in each circuit. They formulate and justify their predictions, based on their observations of electricity transferring energy to produce light and motion.

Investigation 2: The Force of Magnetism

Students investigate the properties of magnets and their interaction with materials and each other. They conduct an investigation to determine if like or opposite poles of a magnet attract. They construct a simple compass and use it to detect magnetic effects. They also discover that magnetism can be induced in a piece of iron. To investigate the strength of the force of attraction between two magnets, they graph data to look for patterns of interaction. Students go outdoors to find objects in the environment that are attracted to magnets.

Investigation 3: Electromagnets

Students learn how to use electricity to make an electromagnet. They explore the variables that influence the strength of the magnetism produced by their electromagnets and engineer a simple telegraph system to communicate using a click code.

Investigation 4: Energy Transfers

Students observe energy transfer that results in heat, light, sound, and motion and they are introduced to sources of energy and components that store energy. They conduct structured investigations to discover how the variable of starting position on the ramp affects the speed of the rolling ball. Using controlled experiments, students test the variables of mass and release position to find out how they affect energy transfer.

Investigation 5: Waves

Students experience waves through firsthand experiences using ropes, demonstrations with waves in water, spring toys, and a sound generator. They use mirrors to experience reflecting light and build a conceptual model about how light travels. Students design series and parallel solar cell circuits and observe the effect on the speed of a motor.

Investigate for yourself.