Understanding Wave Motion - Slinky vs. Snaky: Which Spring is Dominant?

Ride the wave to an understanding of refraction! The first in a series of two inquiry-based lessons challenges learners to create transverse waves with two different types of springs. As their wave hits an object, they observe the change in motion, which models refraction of light waves. 

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have pupils draw models of the different wave motion of the two springs
  • Record new vocabulary in a graphic organizer such as a Frayer diagram
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires a specific set of materials
Pros

  • Provides reference to key vocabulary and important background knowledge
  • Explains how to connect the behavior of the springs to the wave motion of light
Cons

  • None