Science Reasoning Center - Vibrations and Waves

Here is our current listing of Science Reasoning activities for Vibrations and Waves. All activities can be used as a Guest without Task Tracker or as a logged-in student with Task Tracker. Learn more about Task Tracker for Science Reasoning activities.

Mass on a Spring

This activity describes the up and down motion of a mass on a spring using a diagram, a position-time graph, and a velocity-time graph. Questions target a student's ability to select values from a graph, to combine information from two different graphs to draw appropriate conclusions, to identify the amplitude and the period, and to interpret the graphs in light of information on a diagram.

Slinky Experiments

This NGSS-inspired activity includes three parts. Students investigate experimental data to determine the nature of the speed-wavelength-frequency relationship for waves traveling in a uniform medium. Students plan an investigation to determine what variables do and don't affect the speed of a wave. And finally, students investigate the values of a wave from one medium to another to predict numerical values of wavelength and frequency.


Period of a Pendulum

This activity describes three simple experiments conducted by students in order to determine the variables that affect the period of a pendulum. Each experiment is described and the results are presented in the form of a graph. Questions target a student's ability to understand the design of an experiment, to identify the effect of one variable upon another variable, to draw a conclusion that is consistent with collected data, to read values off a graph, to extrapolate beyond the range of values on a graph, and to use provided data to make a prediction about the period that would result under a given set of conditions.


Standing Waves on a Rope

This activity describes a collection of three experiments investigating the possible effect of three different variables upon the speed of a standing wave. The experiments are described and frequency-wavelength-speed data are presented in tables. Questions target a student's ability to understand the design of an experiment, to combine results from two or more data presentations in order to draw appropriate conclusions, to interpolate and extrapolate from data in a table, to predict the results of an additional trial, to translate information from a data table to a graph, and to make predictions based upon a model.