Reflection: Discourse and Questioning Slinky Rules - Section 4: Wave Interference on a Slinky


I love this activity as it is fun and engaging for the students. Plus they get hands on experience in figuring out how waves interact. As students work through this activity, they have great conversations about what they need to do and what they see happen with the slinky, as can be seen in this student discussion video.

Since I started having the students use their iPhones to playback what they see, I have noticed that their understanding of what happens has improved. Before using their phones, most groups where not able to come to an accurate conclusion that the waves add together because it all happens so fast in real-time. Now, students can create and analyze their own video and argue from evidence what they they believe happens to waves when they meet. The technology available in students' pockets via their smartphones, is truly amazing and I have them use it on a regular basis. 

  Discourse and Questioning: Students Engage in Activity
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Slinky Rules

Unit 5: Waves
Lesson 2 of 15

Objective: Students use double-length slinkys and slow motion video to determine how waves interact with each other and with a fixed barrier.

Big Idea: When multiple waves interact, their amplitudes add together; this is called wave interference.

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