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PS3: Energy

Table of Contents
Core Idea

PS3:  Energy

PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
PS3.C: Relationship Between Energy and Forces

Content aligned with middle school PS3

Content aligned with high school PS3


In middle school, students develop an understanding of the disciplinary core ideas in the physical science domain. The middle school performance expectations build on the elementary performance expectations and allow students to explain concepts that are important not only to physical science, but also to life science and the earth and space sciences. In PS3: Energy, performance expectations are designed for students to create an understanding of energy, energy conservation and transfer, the relationship between energy and forces, and energy in everyday life. Some key concepts in energy for middle school understanding are kinetic and potential energy, conservation of energy, and the relationship between temperature and energy.


In high school, students continue to develop and refine their understanding of physical science concepts. The high school performance expectations are meant to expand on the middle school performance expectations. The high school performance expectations cover fundamental concepts of chemistry and physics, while leaving room for more expanded and in-depth study in upper level high school courses. As in middle school, physical science concepts are also important for understanding life and Earth and space sciences. Performance expectations in high school PS3: Energy call on students to examine how energy is transferred and conserved. By the end of high school, students should understand energy quantitatively at macroscopic and atomic scales.



Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.