Exploring Energy

Build your own Energy Transformer

Here are some starter ideas for mainly easy to build projects that help you explore the different types of energy and how you can use it. It will help you understand how the science of energy transformation is behind all of the greatest and coolest inventions !

The famous and never-ever broken Law of Conservation of Energy says that:

"Energy can never be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one kind into another. "

Once you have an idea of how energy transformation works you can use your imagination to be really innovative and come up with a super new invention you and your friends have never even dreamed of before!

Choose your starting energy source?

Science name

Make your own energy transformers! Starter ideas ...

Energy transformations done by the experiment

Sun light (Solar)

Radiant energy

  • Radiant -> heat
  • Radiant -> electric -> chemical energy
  • Radiant -> heat -> gravitational


(water at height)

Gravitational potential energy

Gravitational > kinetic -> rotational kinetic


(moving air)

Kinetic energy

Kinetic -> rotational kinetic


Elastic Potential energy

Elastic -> kinetic

Compressed air


Elastic Potential energy

Elastic -> kinetic -> gravitational


Chemical potential energy

  • Chemical -> heat -> pressure -> kinetic energy
  • Chemical -> heat -> kinetic energy -> gravitational


Chemical potential energy

Chemical -> electric energy


Electric energy

  • Electric ->kinetic energy
  • Kinetic -> electric energy


Gravitational potential energy

Kinetic -> gravitational -> kinetic


Chemical potential energy

Chemical -> heat energy


Heat energy

Heat -> electric -> kinetic energy


  • Remember that some of these activities can be dangerous, esepcially those involving fuels, heat, and fast moving objects- so be careful and follow safe practices !
  • Keep in mind that it is the time-honoured New Zealand way to invent and build stuff using materials at hand- the number eight wire approach aka "kiwi ingenuity". Its also very green to recycle and reuse old stuff that would otherwise go to the dump.