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Crash Course


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Physics, Mathematics

Regional Focus


Work, Energy, and Power

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  • This video defines work, energy, and power and describes how these concepts are related.
  • Students will learn about the equations for work, kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy, spring potential energy, and average power.
  • The video also explains what a system is and compares non-conservative and conservative systems, specifically highlighting the example of a simple pendulum.
Teaching Tips


  • The video animations demonstrate key concepts and display important equations and definitions.
  • Students can see how mathematical concepts in trigonometry and calculus relate to physics and the real world.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should already be familiar with forces including applied, gravitational, frictional, and spring forces.
  • The last 30 seconds of the video are credits and sponsors.
  • Many high school students will not be familiar with the calculus concept of integrals, which is mentioned in the video.


  • This video can be used in math classes to apply vectors or trigonometry functions to real-world calculations.
  • Understanding the basics of work, energy, and power is an important precursor to learning about energy sources, which is a key issue in climate change.
  • Students can discuss Earth as a system and how climate change is impacting the energy flow in this system.
Scientist Notes

The video simplifies the concept of power, energy, and work and provides a basic illustration of how energy works in a system. There is a high confidence to use this resource for teaching.

  • Mathematics
    • Geometric Reasoning and Measurement (K-12)
      • HS.GM.D.12 Apply sine, cosine, and tangent ratios, and the Pythagorean Theorem, to solve problems in authentic contexts.
  • Science
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS.PS3.1 Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
      • HS.PS3.2 Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
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