Grade 8: Exploring Kinetic and Potential Energy – Rube Goldberg Devices (MS-PS-3-1, MS-PS-3-2, MS-PS-3-5)


  • Grade: 8
  • Content Area: Physics
  • NGSS Standard: MS-PS-3-1, MS-PS-3-2, MS-PS-3-5


This unit was taught in a 8th grade middle school science classroom. Leading up to this unit, students have formally been introduced and have learned about: Forces, Vectors, Relationships between mass and force, Momentum, Velocity, Speed acceleration, Manipulation of and solving mathematical equations. At the end of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Understand how energy is related to forces.
  • Describe kinetic energy
  • Describe potential energy
  • Describe the relationship between potential and kinetic energy
  • Understand that energy is conserved