Eventually my head stopped spinning with all this new energy stuff, so Bungee Bear continued.
You see, Stripes, when I bungee jump I can show children the different forms of energy.
When I jumped down from the rafter on my bungee cord, the elastic round my waist stretched out and slowed me down before I hit the ground. All my kinetic energy made the elastic stretch out and turned the kinetic energy into elastic potential energy. That potential energy then whooshed me up into the air again giving me kinetic energy again. Up and down I went until all the kinetic energy was gone and I stopped bouncing.
Hey Bungee, where did all the energy go? Did it get lost? Oh no, certainly not, explained the Bear. Energy can never get lost. It can only be turned into another form of energy. When all the kinetic energy is gone, I still have potential energy because I’m still dangling about ground, and the elastic has potential energy because it’s stretched out with my weight and some energy was also turned into heat because all the whooshing up and down and stretching of the elastic heated up the elastic and the air around us. No, energy can never be lost – it’s always there, maybe just in another form.
Oh Bungee Bear, can I also bungee jump? He shook his big head. No, no, no, Stripes. Bungee jumping is very dangerous and it should only be done by people who are trained to do it and have the right safety equipment. If you start jumping off the rafters the children might want to do it as well and that would be very dangerous.
They are not cats that can jump from dizzy heights or a bungee-jumping bear who is trained to do it. No, children must never do it. They should rather come to the Energy Expo or the Green House to see me jumping.
They can help to give me courage to jump, because to tell the truth, I have a fear of heights – it’s called vertigo – and every time I teach children about the energy thing I need their help to give me the courage to jump. Then I can try to be brave and jump for science….