the National Science Foundation
This learning cycle features nine videotaped experiments, organized sequentially for introducing fundamentals of harmonic motion and waves. Each video includes learning goal, prior knowledge required, and post-activity questions. Topics include period and amplitude, transverse and longitudinal wave motion, and motion of a pendulum. The instructional method is based on cognitive apprenticeship, in which students focus scientific process by observing, finding patterns, modeling, predicting, testing, and revising. The materials were designed to mirror the activities of scientists when they construct and apply knowledge.
See Related Materials for links to the full collection by the same authors and for free access to an article explaining the theoretical basis for this instructional method.
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Metadata instance created
November 18, 2011
by Caroline Hall
January 12, 2012
by Lyle Barbato
Last Update when Cataloged:
September 19, 2008
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
6-8: 4F/M4. Vibrations in materials set up wavelike disturbances that spread away from the source. Sound and earthquake waves are examples. These and other waves move at different speeds in different materials.
6-8: 4F/M7. Wave behavior can be described in terms of how fast the disturbance spreads, and in terms of the distance between successive peaks of the disturbance (the wavelength).
12. Habits of Mind
12C. Manipulation and Observation
6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
12D. Communication Skills
6-8: 12D/M6. Present a brief scientific explanation orally or in writing that includes a claim and the evidence and reasoning that supports the claim.
6-8: 12D/M8. Explain a scientific idea to someone else, checking understanding and responding to questions.
Etkina, E. (2008, September 19). Physics Teaching Technology Resource: Learning Cycles on Harmonic Motion and Waves. Retrieved September 19, 2014, from http://paer.rutgers.edu/pt3/cycleindex.php?topicid=6
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