Wave Behaviors Lab Station Activity

Rated 4.74 out of 5, based on 51 reviews
51 Ratings
It's Not Rocket Science
Grade Levels
8th - 10th
Formats Included
  • PDF
10 pages
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It's Not Rocket Science


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.

*NOTE* Do not purchase if you have already purchased my Waves Unit or my Physical Science Curriculum Bundle because you already have this product!

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?

  • For Station 1: Mirror, flashlight, pan of water, and small object
  • For Station 2: Clear cup or beaker with water, straw, straw in Jell-O
  • For Station 3: Flashlight, different pieces of paper
  • For Station 4: 2 pencils, clear tape, mini Maglite®️ flashlight
  • For Station 5: 2 marbles or other weights, bucket or pan half-full of water
  • For Station 6: 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:

  • MS-PS4-2: 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?

This product is part of my Waves Unit which is the fifth unit in my Physical Science Curriculum Bundle.

What if I have a question?

Email me at itsnotrocketsciencestore@gmail.com I’d love to answer any questions you have!

How do I stay updated on new products, sales, blogposts, and freebies?

**Follow Me** by clicking the green star by my store name, join my email newsletter, or follow me on Instagram. These are the three best ways to keep up with what’s happening at It’s Not Rocket Science!


You may...

      • Use this item for your own classroom, students, or for your own personal use.

      • Buy additional licenses for others to use this product at a discount by visiting your TpT “My Purchases” page.

      • Review this product to recommend others buy it in blog posts, at professional development workshops, or other venues as long as credit is given to my store with a direct link to my store/product.

You may not...

      • Upload this product to any unsecured website or server that other teachers can access for free.

      • Give this product to others without the purchase of an additional license for them (this includes emailing, printing copies, or sharing through a website, cloud or other network.)

*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.

Total Pages
10 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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