Reflection: Problem-based Approaches Velocity Law For Waves - Section 4: Investigation of Waves


This kind of task, I believe, has a much greater payoff than, say, a set of algebraic problems. The task of manipulating controls, even virtual ones, stimulates a kind of thinking that a paper and pencil exercise cannot. Furthermore, embedding the application of the velocity law - the central point of this lesson - inside of an authentic problem (determining the speed of sound) creates a greater sense of buy-in from students. Indeed, sensing their interest in the speed of sound, I improvised a small task: to add their estimate to the board to create a class average. My instinct was that, due to the variety of approaches, some teams would be too high while others would be too low. But the 'crowd-sourced average' was likely to be very close to the truth.

When assembled, one section's data looked like this:

The average? Just about 335 meters per second, within 2% of the established speed of sound!

  The Value of Virtual Explorations
  Problem-based Approaches: The Value of Virtual Explorations
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Velocity Law For Waves

Unit 4: Electromagnetics
Lesson 3 of 17

Objective: Students will be able to bridge the spatial and temporal aspects of waves by applying a velocity law.

Big Idea: Waves can be described as functions of space or functions of time and these realms are related to one another.

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x 15 model in supersonic tunnel
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