Energy stores and transfers

Physics | Science | KS3 | KS4

Learning Objectives

  1. Know that energy can’t be created or destroyed; only transferred.
  2. Describe ways in which energy is stored and transferred.
  3. Demonstrate the application of the law of conservation of energy to real life contexts.

Lesson Description

This Physics topic uses the real-life context of the British America’s Cup team INEOS TEAM UK. The module covers the different ways in which energy can be stored and transferred; ways in which energy is stored on the racing boats; and ways in which energy is transferred between the boat and its surroundings. Introduce the topic of energy sources and transfers with our starter film, discussing energy transfers in both the boat and the crew. The three differentiated worksheets reinforce learning objectives for this topic. The resources can be used either in sequence or flexibly as an introduction to a topic, or for a quick learning activity.

This film introduces the idea that the boat needs to make best use of energy. The crew act as energy stores for controlling the boat, and the use of insulated clothing reduces energy transfers from crew bodies to the surroundings.

For immediate access to all of our free Key stage 3 and 4 STEM teaching resources.

2. Worksheet 1 Explore energy stores and transfers around INEOS TEAM UK. An introduction suggested for 11-14 year olds.
3. Worksheet 1 Answers Answers to Worksheet 1.
4. Worksheet 2 Explain energy stores and transfers around INEOS TEAM UK. More advanced tasks suggested for 11-14 year olds.
5. Worksheet 2 Answers Answers to Worksheet 2.
6. Worksheet 3 Explore energy stores and transfers around INEOS TEAM UK. Suggested for 14-16 year olds.
7. Worksheet 3 Answers Answers to Worksheet 3.


KS3 NC Science – Physics
Energy changes and transfers
Heating and thermal equilibrium: temperature difference between two objects leading to energy transfer from the hotter to the cooler one, through contact (conduction) or radiation; such transfers tending to reduce the temperature difference: use of insulators.
Other processes that involve energy transfer: changing motion, dropping an object, completing an electrical circuit, stretching a spring, metabolism of food, burning fuels.
Changes in systems.

Comparing the starting with the final conditions of a system and describing increases and decreases in the amounts of energy associated with movements, temperatures, changes in positions in a field, in elastic distortions and in chemical compositions.
Using physical processes and mechanisms, rather than energy, to explain the intermediate steps that bring about such changes.

GCSE Science

3.3 Draw and interpret diagrams to represent energy changes.
3.5 Analyse the changes involved in the way energy is stored when a system changes, including: a) an object projected upwards or up a slope, b) a moving object hitting an obstacle, c) an object being accelerated by a constant force, d) a vehicle slowing down, e) bringing water to a boil in an electric kettle.
3.7 Explain that mechanical processes become wasteful when they cause a rise in temperature so dissipating energy in heating the surroundings.
3.8 Explain, using examples, how in all system changes energy is dissipated so that it is stored in less useful ways.
3.9 Explain ways of reducing unwanted energy transfer including through lubrication, thermal insulation.
AQA and OCR are similar spec.

KS3 Science

The conservation of energy and ways in which energy can be stored.
How familiar devices/machines work by using electricity, light, sound and other energy transfers.
The forces in devices and their relationship to work done and power.

KS4 Science
Understand energy transfers can be measured and their efficiency calculated.
Understand that electrical power is readily transferred and controlled, and can be used in a range of different situations.

Third level Science
Consider examples where energy is conserved and identify the energy source, how it is transferred and ways of reducing wasted energy.

Forth level Science
Use knowledge of the different ways in which heat is transferred between hot and cold objects and the thermal conductivity of materials to improve energy efficiency in buildings or other systems.
Gain knowledge of how formulae may be used in the context of energy transfer and mechanical systems and apply them to solve problems, for example in engineering.
National 5 Physics
Knowledge of the principle of ‘conservation of energy’ applied to examples where energy is transferred between stores. Identification and explanation of ‘loss’ of energy where energy is transferred.

KS3 Science & Technology
Pupils should be enabled to explore the causes and effect of energy, forces and movement.
Pupils should have opportunities to learn about forces and energy transfer, using electricity, sound and light.

GCSE Physics
1.2.1 investigate, in terms of the Principle of Conservation of Energy, energy transfers involving the following forms of energy: chemical, heat, electrical, sound, light, magnetic, kinetic and potential (gravitational and strain);
1.2.2 describe and explain various ways of making better use of energy.


Physics, Science

Key Stage

KS3, KS4

Resource For

Students, Teachers


Film, Worksheet


Energy stores and transfers
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