1 minute read


Fuel for Thought, Fossil Fuels

Do you know what energy is? Scientists define energy as the ability to do work. That makes sense, because when you have a lot of energy, you feel like you can do many things. You might even say, “I have so much energy I feel like I could run 20 miles.” Running is work, and you would certainly need energy to run 20 miles. How does your body get energy? It comes from food. Food is the fuel your body converts to energy.

Solar Energy

Just as our bodies convert chemicals from food to energy, we convert some of Earth's resources, like coal and oil, into energy products like electricity and fuels. We use these products to heat and light our homes, schools, and businesses, and to power our cars and other machines.

Solar Energy

Fuel for Thought

Physics is a science that deals with energy. Physicists study all kinds of energy including chemical energy,—the kind of energy found in food that your body stores before you put it to good use.

Fuel for Thought

Coal, oil, and natural gas are fossil fuels. They formed from plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. Coal formed over time when plant remains compressed underground with soil, clay, and minerals. Oil and natural gas formed long ago when tiny sea animals and plants died and sank to the seabed. Bacteria, heat, soil, and pressure slowly transformed the dead matter into oil and gas.

Solar Energy Coal

Solar Energy Oil

Fossil Fuels

Solar Energy Natural Gas

Additional topics

Science Encyclopedia for KidsSolar Energy