will observe the “drinking bird” perpetual
motion machine when coming into class. Without the knowledge
of how the bird works, it might seem like it will go forever.
Of course it will not, and the reasons for this will be
discussed. The fallacy of this, and many other perpetual
motion machines, will be examined. This serves as an interesting
way to reinforce the idea of conservation of energy.
Purpose – The purpose of this lesson is to explore
the idea of the conservation of energy. By having the students
critically examine the designs of perpetual motion machines,
they can see the innate fallacy of such an idea. Of course
energy can’t be created!
will be able to:
1. Explain the theory of conservation of energy in their
2. Critically analyze machines in order to determine
where energy will be lost in the systems surrounding
Science Education Standard:
Standard B-Physical Science
The total energy of the universe is constant. Energy
can by transferred by collisions in chemical and nuclear
reactions, by light waves, other radiations, and in
many other ways. However, it can never be destroyed.
As these transfers occur, the matter involved becomes
steadily less ordered.
and Resource Websites
(Can purchase drinking bird here)