Science Reasoning Center - Light Waves

Here is our current listing of Science Reasoning activities for Light 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.

Models of Light

This NGSS-inspired task consists of five activities that probe the dual nature of light. The success and failure of the wave model of light and the particle model of light to explain reflection, diffraction, interference,and the photoelectric effect are explored.

Electromagnetic Radiation

This NGSS-inspired task includes three activities that focus on the relative wavelength, frequency, and energy of the various regions of the electromagnetic spectrum and the connection of these quantities to the manner in which such waves interact with matter.


Electromagnetic Spectrum

This task presents information in the form of two short paragraphs and an elaborate diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum. The diagram shows all the regions of the spectrum with a few regions being divided into sub-regions. Wavelength, frequency, and energy/photon values are given. Graphics demonstrate the relative size of the various wavelengths. A final row of the diagram shows typical sources of each type of electromagnetic wave. Questions target students' ability to analyze the diagram, extract information, and make sense of the information. This activity offers strong NGSS alignment.

Light Brightness

This task uses two different tables to present information regarding the relationship between light intensity and the distance from the source and between light intensity and the power of the source at fixed distances from the source. A model for understanding the inverse square law is discussed. Questions target a student's ability to select data from a table (or two), to interpolate and extrapolate from information given in a table, to draw conclusions consistent with presented information, to identify the relationship among the variables, and to identify statements that are consistent with both the model and the data.

Shedding Light on Light Bulbs

This activity compares and contrasts four modern light bulb options. Information regarding the light bulbs, their color temperature and the connection to the colors and wavelengths of the ROYGBIV spectrum is presented using two tables and a figure. Questions target a student's ability to comprehend information presented in a body of text, to read from the tables, to relate information in one table to information in another table or a figure, and to combine information from two data presentations in order to identify valid conclusions.

Communicating With Electromagnetic Waves

This NGSS-inspired task includes three parts that focus on the sending, encoding, and storage of information by means of electromagnetic waves.

Digitizing Data

This NGSS-inspired task addresses the manner in which data (such as graphic images) can be digitized and the issues associated with the transmitting, receiving, and storage of digital data.