James made this little spool toy that demonstrates potential vs. kinetic energy.
To make this toy, you will need:
a thread spool
a small rubber band
a dowel or the like
Feed a rubber-band through the center of a wooden spool. Stick a toothpick through the loop the rubber-band makes at the end of the spool.
Tape down the loop of the rubber-band that sticks out of the end of the spool.
Break off the ends of the toothpick so that the spool can roll freely.
On the other end of the spool, place the loop through a washer.
Put a dowel on top of the washer, feeding it through the rubber-band loop.
Now turn the pencil around and around, tightening the rubber-band.
When the rubber-band is very tight, put your device on the floor and let go.
Or, you can hold the spool and watch the dowel act as a helicopter blade.
When did the potential energy enter the toy? When did the potential energy transfer into kinetic energy?
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