Measuring Kinetic and Potential Energy

I developed this activity while producing some science videos to go with a science textbook. They wanted students to be able to measure potential and kinetic energy, using everyday objects. Thanks to the abundance of cell phones, this is an easy way to do that.


  • a ruler with a groove down the center
  • a marble or small ball
  • several books
  • modeling clay or tape
  • a cell phone or other device to record videos
  • a computer with Quicktime player or software to view the video one frame at a time