Kinetic and Potential Energy
by Ms. Lambert’s class
Haskell STEAM Songbook

May be sung to the tune of “Good King Wenceslas”

A roller coaster up so high, slowing at the top there
Stops a moment in the sky, ready for a drop there
At the top it’s loaded with potential energy
But that’s going to change when it rolls down the hill so quickly!

See the coaster coming down at a pace frenetic
Its potential energy now becomes kinetic
As it loses altitude it keeps on going faster
Plunging down toward the ground, heading for disaster!

Up and down it goes around, slowly and then quickly
Changing forms of energy and making us feel sickly
Energy can change its form, this is consequential
But our favorite “flavors” are kinetic and potential!


How does this help the kids learn? Numerous studies (Howard Gardner, Nick Page, Kaori Iwai, Greg Crowther, many others) show that integrating the arts into academic instruction enhances memory, motivation, and comprehension of the material we need our students to learn. This also fits with several thousand years of human experience: all of our oldest stories (Iliad, Beowulf, Gilgamesh, etc.) were shared and remembered as songs long before ordinary people had access to books. Although our songs are intended to be fun to hear and to sing, our music serves a serious purpose; and evidence shows that it really works.