Day 138 – Waves

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Physics 11 – Today I had students create standing waves with long springs.  The goal for the lesson was to see what a standing wave looks like, and to calculate the speed of wave from wavelength and frequency.

The most challenging (and rewarding) part of this lesson is that it makes the students really think about the definition of “wavelength.”  It’s such an easy thing to label on a diagram but as soon as confronted with something more complex such as a standing wave, the kids have to discuss and come to an agreement on what the wavelength is.

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I’m also getting ready for a small project for the students. In groups they’ll receive 90 cm of tubing and will have to build a closed end pan flute and play a song. Mary Had A Little Lamb with three notes will probably be the minimum required…  I suppose that if I wanted to go full PBL with this, the unit would have started with the goal: Build a pan flute and play a song with it.

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