If you think about it, energy is the ability to do work. Without it, everything would come to a standstill.
All living things use energy. Plants and animals use it all the time. Our bodies need it to keep our hearts beating and we use it to breathe, grow, move and think. We even need energy to sleep!
At home, think about all the machines and appliances you use every day – from computers to washing machines to toasters. Or the air conditioner you turn on when it’s too hot to play outside. They all use energy.
Every time you go somewhere, you’re using energy. Driving to school, catching a bus or going on an overseas holiday; all these forms of transport use a lot of energy.
Look around you. All the buildings and roads, playgrounds and shopping centres in your local area have been built using energy.
Did you know that energy can never be destroyed? The energy that arrives on Earth from the sun is here to stay.
It’s always changing
Energy is continually changing form. For example, when a piece of wood burns in a fireplace, the chemical energy in the wood is changed to light, heat and sound energy.
Some types of energy; like energy from the Sun and the wind are renewable. That means that these sources of energy won’t run out. In fact, the Sun is the most important source of energy on Earth.
Scientists are hard at work finding new sources of energy. Things like coffee grounds and vegetable oil are full of energy but we need to figure out how to store that energy so we can use it later.
Common forms of energy are light, heat and sound energy. These are the ones you can see, feel and hear. We use these types of energy all the time.
Chemical energy is harder to detect, but we need it every day too. It’s found in all the food we eat and our bodies use it to grow and move.
Even things that don’t move have energy. A pencil lying on a desk has potential energy or stored energy. This changes to kinetic energy or movement energy when you push the pencil off the desk and it falls to the floor.
Some kinds of energy are harder to detect, like X-rays or UV radiation. But these types are still used all the time. Think of the sun – it’s powered by nuclear energy, and without it, life as we know it wouldn’t exist!
Energy is the source of all life on Earth. Without energy, we wouldn’t exist – our bodies need it, and we use it in every single moment of our day, in everything that we do.
Energy is powerful stuff. It can’t be destroyed – but it can easily change from one form to another.
There are many different forms of energy. You can see light energy, you can feel heat energy, and you can hear sound energy. Some forms of energy are much harder to detect.
The Sun is the most important source of energy on Earth. It is powered by nuclear energy and we use its energy all the time.