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    Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. MS-PS4-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.8.5 - Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest. (MS-PS4-2)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • The photograph was taken in Sheboygan county Wisconsin, at approximately 5:45 pm on October 15th, 2017.  The photograph shown in this post shows what appears to be the left end of the rainbow touching the ground with a faint double rainbow in th ...

  • This lesson connects life science with physical science.  The life science aspect is investigating how animals communicate, while the physical science focuses on how sound waves travel underwater.  Students will use a video of whale songs t ...

  • Resource has two components. The first is an interactive simulation the allows students to explore how light moves through different mediums (air, water, glass).   The second is an activity, “Bending Light Lab,” created by Jamie ...

  • This lab activity explores how the different wavelengths and frequencies of the visible light spectrum relate to each other to create the specific color bands.  Students take part in team roles to build and use a simple apparatus for measuring & ...

  • This phenomena is a picture of a pileus iridescent cloud as seen over Ethiopia.  What is to be observed and modeled is the spectrum array that exists over the top of the clouds.  

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn how sound waves form and travel. The Sound Waves learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrat...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn about the electromagnetic spectrum and how light travels. The Reflection, Absorption, and Transmission of Light learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engag...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn how different materials affect light traveling through them. The Transmission and Refraction of Light learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and ...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn how light behaves like a wave. The Wave Model of Light learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demo...

  • In this series of games, your students will learn the similarities and differences between two types of waves. The Electromagnetic Waves vs. Mechanical Waves learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagemen...

  • Working as if they were engineers, students design and construct model solar sails made of aluminum foil to move cardboard tube satellites through “space” on a string. Working in teams, they follow the engineering design thinking steps—empathize, def...

  • Students perform a lab to explore how the color of materials at Earth's surface affect the amount of warming. Topics covered include developing a hypothesis, collecting data, and making interpretations to explain why dark-colored materials become ho...

  • This introductory video summarizes the process of generating solar electricity from photovoltaic and concentrating (thermal) solar power technologies.

  • This video introduces the concept of daylighting - the use of windows or skylights for natural lighting and temperature regulation - and how it is a building strategy that can save operating costs for homeowners and businesses.

  • This activity includes an assessment, analysis, and action tool that can be used by classrooms to promote understanding of how the complex current issues of energy, pollution, supply, and consumption are not just global but also local issues.

  • This video describes why tropical ice cores are important and provide different information than polar ice cores, why getting them now is important (they are disappearing), and how scientists get them. The work of glaciologist Lonnie Thompson is feat...

  • This video montage of spectacular NASA satellite images set to music shows different types of ice and ice features as well as descriptions of satellite-based measurements of ice cover. Text captioning describes how global ice cover is changing, and ...

  • In this video, students learn that scientific evidence strongly suggests that different regions on Earth do not respond equally to increased temperatures. Ice-covered regions appear to be particularly sensitive to even small changes in global tempera...

  • This introductory video covers the basic facts about how to keep residential and commercial roofs cool and why it is important to reducing the heat island effect and conserving energy.

  • This NASA video discusses the impacts of the sun's energy, Earth's reflectance, and greenhouse gases on the Earth System.

  • This is an animation from the US Environmental Protection Agency's Students Guide to Global Climate Change, one of a series of web pages and videos about the basics of the greenhouse effect.

  • This video focuses on the conifer forest in Alaska to explore the carbon cycle and how the forest responds to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. Topics addressed in the video include wildfires, reflectivity, and the role of permafrost in the global c...

  • This video from a 2005 NOVA program features scientists who study the Jakobshavn Isbrae glacier in western Greenland. The glacier is shrinking and moving faster due to increased melting in recent years. The video includes footage of scientists in th...

  • This video is narrated by climate scientist Richard Alley. It examines studies US Air Force conducted over 50 years ago on the warming effects of CO2 in the atmosphere and how that could impact missile warfare. The video then focuses on the Franz Jos...

  • This interactive visualization adapted from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey illustrates the concept of albedo, which is the measure of how much solar radiation is reflected from Earth's surface.

  • With this simulation from the NASA Climate website, learners explore different examples of how ice is melting due to climate change in four places where large quantities of ice are found. The photo comparisons, graphs, animations, and especially the ...

  • This video and accompanying essay review the impacts of rising surface air temperatures and thawing permafrost on ecosystems, geology, and native populations in Alaska.

  • This video illustrates how atmospheric particles, or aerosols (such as black carbon, sulfates, dust, fog), can affect the energy balance of Earth regionally, and the implications for surface temperature warming and cooling.

  • This set of six interactive slides showcases how a typical photovoltaic cell converts solar energy into electricity. Explore the components of a photovoltaic cell, including the silicon layers, metal backing, antireflective coating, and metal conduct...

  • This is a series of 5 guided-inquiry activities that examine data and models that climate scientists use to attempt to answer the question of Earth's future climate.

  • This engaging activity introduces students to the concept of albedo and how albedo relates to Earth's energy balance.

  • A set of eight photographs compiled into a series of slides explain how urban areas are facing challenges in keeping both their infrastructure and their residents cool as global temperatures rise. Chicago is tackling that problem with a green design ...

  • This video describes what black carbon is, where is comes from, and how it contributes to sea ice melt and global warming.

  • This video provides a good overview of ice-albedo feedback. Albedo-Climate feedback is a positive feedback that builds student understanding of climate change.

  • This is an animated interactive simulation that illustrates differential solar heating on a surface in full sunlight versus in the shade.

  • In this hands-on activity, students explore whether rooftop gardens are a viable option for combating the urban heat island effect. The guiding question is: Can rooftop gardens reduce the temperature inside and outside of houses?

  • This video segment highlights research that supports the idea that warmer oceans generate and sustain more intense hurricanes.

  • In this activity, students use authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack and to further understand albedo.

  • In this series of activities students investigate the effects of black carbon on snow and ice melt in the Arctic. The lesson begins with an activity that introduces students to the concept of thermal energy and how light and dark surfaces reflect and...

  • This short, engaging video created by NASA presents a complex topic via a simple analogy. The idea of positive and negative feedback is demonstrated by Daisyworld - a world with black and white flowers growing on it.

  • The Greenland 2014: Follow the Water video is about Greenland's ice sheet, accompanied by computer models of the same, to show how the ice is melting, where the meltwater is going, and what it is doing both on the surface and beneath the ice.

  • This visualization is a collection of maps, by continent, that project the impact on coastlines of a 216-foot rise in sea level, which is assumed to be the result of melting all the land ice on Earth.

  • In this short video, atmospheric scientist Scott Denning gives a candid and entertaining explanation of how greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere warm our planet.

  • This lesson explores the chemistry of some of the greenhouse gases that affect Earth's climate. Third in a series of 9 lessons from an online module entitled 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change'.

  • In this short, hands-on activity, students build simple molecular models of 4 atmospheric gases (O2, N2, C02, and methane), compare their resonant frequencies, and make the connection between resonant frequency and the gas's ability to absorb infrare...

  • This animated video explains how the molecular structure of atmospheric gases can absorb and re-radiate infrared energy. The video uses simple models and analogies to aid in student understanding.

  • Students gain first-hand experience with the steps of the scientific method as well as the overarching engineering design process as they conduct lab research with the aim to create a bioplastic with certain properties. Students learn about the light...

  • Students take what they know about materials, optical properties and electrons to the next level—to see how semiconductors can be used to augment light. First, they learn how light-emitting diodes (LEDs) work, which helps them to think critically abo...

  • General Lesson Plan for the activities included in the session.

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.