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3rd Grade Science Core
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Get Your Motor Running

The sun is not our only source of heat and light.
Many machines will make heat and sometimes light when they are running.
  • Electrical Machines - use electricity to run. Toasters, dishwashers, lamps, TVs, computers and anything that runs on batteries are electrical machines.
  • Mechanical Machines - use other energy sources to run. Some are people-powered like bicycles, scooters, brooms, and scissors. Others run off burning fuel like cars and motorcycles. Windmills run off wind power.
Look at the pictures below. They are all sources of heat because they get warm as they operate. The ones on the left are electrical heat sources. The ones on the right are mechanical heat sources.

Electrical Heat Sources

Mechanical Heat Sources



Look around your home or school. Find five machines that generate heat or light from electricity, and five that generate it mechanically, from movement.


Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 3rd grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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