We have been discussing ENERGY in our class, and how it is made, and transformed, and where it comes from. It isn’t matter, like everything else in the universe. It’s energy. We can’t hold it or touch it, but we can feel it’s power in everything we do.
There are many types of energy – magnetic energy, electrical energy, kinetic energy, caloric energy to power our bodies, solar energy, heat…pretty much all the forces that make our world go around.
The energy we use to power our bodies each day – calories – is a great one to talk with kids about because it directly relates to their lives. They can feel and see the energy they take in and use every day. They know what a hot dog is a lot more than an electric turbine. So it’s energy in their own terms.
Talking about it really brings home for them the differences in the foods they eat. Of course, it doesn’t usually CHANGE their eating patterns – no matter how much I tell them that sugar is a dirty energy that doesn’t fuel their bodies right, they still want as much candy as possible. But at least they’re thinking about it and learning about it, and one day maybe the change will come.
But for now, it’s enough to let them know that, “Hey! When you throw that paper airplane across the room, did you know you’re using muscle energy that is fueled by food energy you consume? Isn’t that awesome! Now go pick up the plane and throw it away. Using energy.”