# NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

## Education

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Lesson Title: Manipulating Waves

Unit: Physical Science -- Waves and
Optics

Connection To Curriculum:
Science, Mathematics and
Technology

Teacher Prep Time: 1 hour

Lesson Time Needed: 6.5 hours

Complexity: Moderate

Keywords: reflection, refraction,
diffraction, magnification, spectrum,
medium, interference

Materials:
Photographic slide frame or thin piece of cardboard with 1-inch square hole
Transparent tape
Small transparent sauce or condiment bottles
Jars of different shapes
Water
Old magazine or newspaper
Spectroscope (1 per 4 students)
Light sources
Compact disc
Cardboard box with lid
Sharp knife
Scissors
Black marker
Tape
Manila file folder
Diffraction grating (13,440 groves/ square inch)
Computer with Internet connection

Description
This lesson guide integrates a series of activities designed to demonstrate methods of manipulating waves and applications of that manipulation.

Objectives
Students will:
• Demonstrate methods of magnifying light waves.
• Operate a simple spectroscope to analyze spectra.
• Compare methods of transmitting and receiving electromagnetic waves for space communications.

 Lesson Guide Manipulating Waves Lesson [119KB PDF file]

Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson
 › Diffraction Spectroscope training module  → Note: Module may take a few minutes to load. Download Video

 › Simple Magnifiers training module  → Note: Module may take a few minutes to load. Download Video

Lesson Activities and Sequence
The suggested sequence starts with simple manipulation of the path of light and increases in complexity through spreading light by diffraction and interference to controlling electromagnetic waves for information transfer to and from space.
1. Simple Magnifiers
Students use bottles, jars and water to create different magnifiers.
Keywords: reflection, refraction, diffraction, magnification, spectrum, medium, interference

2. Exploring Diffraction With a Spectroscope / Constructing a Spectroscope
Students build a simple spectroscope and use it to investigate diffraction.
Keywords: waves, crest, magnitude, diffraction, spectroscope

3. Space Operations Learning Center
Select the Space Communication mission training to go with this lesson. It explains how satellites transmit using the electromagnetic spectrum.
Keywords: waves, satellites, color, spectrum, space

National Standards:
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science as Inquiry
• Skills necessary to become independent inquirers about the natural world.
Physical Science
• Light, heat, electricity and magnetism.
History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Number and Operations
• Understand the place value system.
• Generalize place value understanding for multidigit whole numbers.
Measurement and Data
• Convert like measurement units within given measurement system.
• Represent and interpret data.