Wave Behaviors Lab Station Activity
In this lab station activity, students will move around the classroom exploring different topics related to the behavior of waves, such as reflection, refraction, absorption, diffraction, interference, and resonance. Students will use the materials and instructions provided at each station to conduct demonstrations of wave behavior phenomena and will record their observations and make inferences. Each phenomenon observed will be discussed later as a class. This is a great inquiry activity to use as an introduction before teaching students about behaviors of waves. As you go through these behaviors in your lecture, you can refer back to the students’ experiences in the lab stations.
How can I use this?
- Real world application of wave behaviors
- Guided inquiry activity to introduce wave behavior phenomena
- As demonstrations for: reflection, refraction, absorption, diffraction, interference, and resonance
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
I love lab stations as a way to get students out of their seats, but I especially love these lab stations because they get students using every day objects to explore wave behavior phenomena on their own. I love that students can investigate these topics autonomously and easily complete these 6 demonstrations without teacher help, prior to knowing anything about the topics. It sets us up for great discussions during lecture as students are able to make meaningful connections between what they experienced in these lab stations and the content being covered in notes/lecture.
What is included?
- 2 pages of teacher implementation notes (PDF)
- 1 page student handout (PDF)
- 1 page answer key (PDF)
- 6 hands-on lab station cards (PDF) for you to print, cut and laminate for use year after year
What materials will I need to have in my classroom to set this up?
- : Mirror, flashlight, pan of water, and small object
- : Clear cup or beaker with water, straw, straw in Jell-O
- : Flashlight, different pieces of paper
- : 2 pencils, clear tape, mini Maglite®️ flashlight
- : 2 marbles or other weights, bucket or pan half-full of water
- : Tuning forks, at least two of which must be the same frequency, rubber mallet
How much class time will this take?
This activity takes one 50-minute class period.
How does this connect to NGSS*?
This lab station activity addresses the following standard:
- : Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
It also incorporates the following science and engineering practices:
- Develop and use models
- Analyze and interpret data
Lastly, it connects to the following crosscutting concepts:
- Cause and effect
- Scale, proportion, and quantity
- Energy and matter
What if I want more related to this?
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*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.