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There are many forms of energy: like solar, wind, wave and thermal to name a few, but the 6 Forms of Energy we study in Needham are: Sound, Chemical, Radiant, Electric, Atomic and Mechanical.

Sound Energy- is produced when an object is made to vibrate. Sound energy travels out as waves in all directions. Sound needs a medium to travel through, such as air, water, wood, and even metal!

Examples: Voices, whistles, horns and musical instruments.


Chemical Energy - is really a form of potential energy and is the energy stored in food, gasoline or chemical combinations.
Examples: Striking a match, combining vinegar and baking soda to form CO2 Gas, breaking light sticks releases chemical energy.


Radiant Energy - is a combination of heat and light energy. Light energy, like sound energy, travels out in all directions in waves.
Examples: A light bulb, the glowing coils on a toaster, the sun, and even headlights on cars.


Electrical Energy - Energy produced by electrons moving through a substance is known as electrical energy. We mostly see electric energy in batteries and from the outlets in our homes. Electrical energy lights our homes, run motors, and makers our TVs and radios work.

Examples: CD players, TVs and Video games.


Atomic Energy - is produced when you split atoms. A tremendous amount of energy is released when this happens.
Examples:Atomic bombs, nuclear power plants, nuclear submarines, and the sun.


Mechanical Energy - is moving energy. It is the form that we most see around us. All moving objects produce mechanical energy. The movements within machines is also mechanical energy.
Examples: People, a rolling bicycle, moving gears, and running cars.

Can you think of other examples?

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Kathleen Martell, Instructional Technology Specialist
Needham Public Schools, Needham, MA