Reflection: Flexibility Pop Bottle Waves & Hair Dryer Ripples - Section 2: Recording the Data and Responding to the Phenomena


As the hair dryer wave portion of this activity progressed, one student asked if the tub was bigger what would happen to the waves? I quickly looked for a larger tub and found a considerably larger one to fill. They collected by the newly filled huge tub as I asked them to predict if the waves would still be as large from the fast speed on the hair dryer.

Several responded with no, and then yes, and then no again. They were trying hard to make sense of it. "Would more water make a difference?" I asked. 

"I think because it is deeper, yes," squeaked one little voice from behind the small crowd. She pushed forward to get a look as I turned the dryer on. Sure enough, she was right! And, she was very pleased.

I left it to them to decide. I didn't instruct their thoughts at this point, because I know in the near future deep water waves and shallow water waves will be discussed. Grappling with the complexity and phenomena is essential to really come to terms with what is true in science. Allowing my students the freedom to do this was just really a joy for me!

  Response to a Teachable Moment
  Flexibility: Response to a Teachable Moment
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Pop Bottle Waves & Hair Dryer Ripples

Unit 3: Waves
Lesson 1 of 8

Objective: Students investigate how motion and wind create waves on water.

Big Idea: In this opening lesson, we explore what waves are all about as we observe, draw, and think about how waves are shaped and how they move and what creates them.

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Science, Waves, Sound, Sounds Waves, Observing & Predictng, engineering
  65 minutes
bottle rocking
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