Science / Year 8 / Science Understanding / Physical sciences

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

Energy appears in different forms, including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and energy transformations and transfers cause change within systems (ACSSU155)

  • recognising that kinetic energy is the energy possessed by moving bodies
  • recognising that potential energy is stored energy, such as gravitational, chemical and elastic energy
  • investigating different forms of energy in terms of the effects they cause, such as gravitational potential causing objects to fall and heat energy transferred between materials that have a different temperature
  • recognising that heat energy is often produced as a by-product of energy transfer, such as brakes on a car and light globes
  • using flow diagrams to illustrate changes between different forms of energy
ScOT terms

Energy conversion,  Mechanical energy,  Heat

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Energy chains: make electricity

Build up to six energy chains that make electricity. Select from different energy sources and choose energy converters to match. Examine the type of energy change that happens in each converter. Arrange the converters into the correct chain so that the energy can be delivered as electricity. For example, construct a chain ...

Tablet friendly (Interactive resource)

Energy chains: energy use

Select energy sources and energy converters to build energy chains to power appliances and vehicles. Examine how each energy converter in a chain loses some energy and reduces the energy available for use. For example, show that using a solar panel and an electric motor to drive a car delivers only 16% of the original energy ...

Interactive resource

Energy chains: build an energy chain

Build an energy chain for a power station. Find out about fuel and how the energy converters work. Examine the type of energy change that happens in each converter. For example, see how a turbine changes the heat energy in steam into spinning motion. Arrange converters into the correct chain so that the energy in fuel can ...

Interactive Resource

Energy: student digital

This is a student digital resource that contains interactive materials exploring many aspects of energy including the different forms of energy, the energy of moving things, heat, electricity, energy in food, and sources of energy used by modern societies. This resource contains a rich array of digital interactive activities, ...

Interactive resource

Energy chains: power up!

Build energy chains to power appliances and vehicles. Find out about energy sources and how energy converters work. Select the energy converters that suit each source and vehicle. For example, work out how to drive a car using the energy from sunlight. This learning object is one in a series of five learning objects.

Interactive resource

Energy chains: side effects

Build energy chains that make electricity. Select different energy sources and choose energy-converters to match. Arrange converters into the correct chain so that the energy can be delivered as electricity. Examine the waste products and side effects that occur with each converter. For example, find out the environmental ...

Teacher resource

Origin Energy for Schools

This is a valuable website containing comprehensive teacher and student cross-curricular teaching and learning resource for years 3 to 8 that focuses on the themes of energy, energy management and the Earth’s renewable energy sources. There are three teaching units on the themes of ‘Energy introduction’, ‘Energy management’ ...

Interactive Resource

Energy skate park

This is an interactive resource about the potential and kinetic energy changes as a skater rolls around a skate park. Students learn about conservation of energy with a skater, they can build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as he moves. Students can also ...


Energy: student guide

This is a student guide that explores many aspects of energy including the different forms of energy, the energy of moving things, electricity, energy in food, and sources of energy used by modern societies. It is divided into different parts with each containing information, images and diagrams, hands-on inquiry activities, ...

Interactive resource

Interpreting changes of state: heating

Heat ice and record the temperature and states of water at specified times. Plot a graph of temperature against time and relate sections of the graph to the states of water. Observe animations of water particles over time and explain the shape of the graph in terms of particle theory. This learning object is the first in ...

Interactive resource

Electromagnetism: magnetic fields

Investigate the magnetic field surrounding an electromagnet. Use a compass to find the direction of the field at different places. See how field lines can be used to map the field’s strength and direction. Vary the current through an electromagnet and observe how this affects the field. For example, notice that there are ...

Interactive resource

Earth rotation: stargazing

Watch an animation of the Earth rotating in space showing day and night, the equinox where locations on Earth experience close to equal hours of daytime and night-time (12 hours) and views of the Earth from above the North and South Poles. Position a camera at different places on the Earth's surface to take a time-lapse ...

Teacher resource

Working with wind energy

This activity explores the growing use of wind energy to generate or augment energy in businesses and homes worldwide. Students work in teams to design and build their own windmill out of everyday items which they select and purchase with a budget. They test their windmill, evaluate their results, and present reflections ...

Interactive resource

Fission control

Answer questions about how nuclear reactors work. Operate controls for a simulated nuclear reactor. Adjust the fuel type, position of control rods, coolant type and flow speed. Generate electricity without causing a meltdown. This learning object is one in a series of two learning objects.

Interactive resource

Sound: thunderstorms

Explore the movement of light and sound from a lightning strike during a thunderstorm. Measure the time delay between seeing a lightning flash and hearing the sound of thunder. Use the time difference and speed of sound to estimate the distance to the lightning strike. For example, if thunder is heard six seconds after ...

Interactive Resource

Energy use and efficiency – sustainability action process (Years 7–10)

This resource guides students through an extended school-based or local investigation focussed on energy use and efficiency using the five-step sustainability action process. The resource supports the investigation of a real-world issue or problem. Students develop and implement a chosen sustainability action and then evaluate ...

Interactive resource

Air pressure: particle model

Experiment with some gas trapped in an air chamber. Notice how the gas is made of particles. Investigate the speed and collisions of the air particles. Discover what happens to them as you change the temperature. Observe how this affects the properties of the gas. For example, measure the change in pressure as you heat ...

Interactive Resource

Oresome world

This interactive resource takes students on a journey of discovery in the energy and mining world. Oresome world contains five games or modules: Coal, Energy, Gas, Low emissions and Mining, and within each of these there are several facilities to explore, such as the Underground mining site, Hydroelectric power station, ...

Interactive Resource

Sites2See: Surf safety

A webpage about surfing safety, dangerous waves and rips, and the history and science of surfing. A 'For Kids' section provides games and quizzes for young swimmers and surfers.


Space storms

This 11 minute video segment from Catalyst explains how the sun can impact on Earth's power grid and satellite communications. This program also describes recent technology to study the sun and understand the causes of coronal mass ejections.