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        Circus | Physics: Conservation of Energy

        The aerial acrobatics of the Russian Barre routine require exquisite balance, timing, and years of training. That’s not enough though; conservation of energy plays a big role as well. At the top of the jump, Anna’s energy is entirely potential, but, as she falls, her energy turns kinetic. Landing on the barre, the energy changes form once more, stored as elastic energy in the bending barre. In this unit, students can learn the basics of these three common forms of energy.

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        Circus | Physics: Conservation of Energy Video

        This video uses the death-defying stunts on the Russian Barre to illustrate the basics of the three common forms of energy. It can be used to motivate the study of kinetic, potential, and elastic energy, and their conservation. It can also serve as extra illustration to reinforce previous lessons on these topics. If you watch the video in class, ask students to pause the video at different points in the routine and compare the jumper’s kinetic, potential, and elastic energy. This video includes a transcript.

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        Circus | Physics: Conservation of Energy Video Analysis

        These performance clips from the CIRCUS series are provided for use in classroom video analysis activities using VideoPoint or similar software. The video includes footage of the trapeze, a dog act, and a clown sliding down a zip line.

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