Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment

This Sensing the Invisible: The Herschel Experiment lesson plan also includes:

The electromagnetic spectrum includes everything from very powerful gamma rays (which are used to treat cancer) to much weaker radio waves (which include microwaves). Through a hands-on activity, scholars explore the temperature differences between different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is a replication of William Herschel's 1800 experiment, where he discovered the presence of infrared radiation. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Post all classes' temperatures to see if the angle of the sun affects the temperatures of the spectrum; discuss the results
Classroom Considerations

  • Activity requires an area outside for the groups to work, and it needs to be a sunny day
  • Depending upon the level of learners, teachers may want to make and set up the experimental devices ahead of time
  • This is the first lesson in a series of four
Pros

  • Includes extensive background information for teachers and/or classes
  • Activity provides teaching tips, worksheets, extensions, an assessment rubric, and related resources
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS