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Electromagnetic Radiation: On Trial

Students are introduced to the properties of electromagnetic radiation. Students create a “Quipo,” a method used by the ancient Incas. Students are also encouraged to use an electronic bulletin board to communicate with each other, post insights, ideas, evidence, and questions on electromagnetic radiation. As part of this activity, students will conduct a mock trial placing the different types of electromagnetic radiation on trial.

Key Questions
1. What are the different types of electromagnetic radiation?

2. How can a Quipo represent the properties of the type of electromagnetic radiation it represents?

Learning Objectives
1. Students will know the general properties of electromagnetic waves.

2. Students will know how to analyze the relation between the specific properties of waves and their position in the electromagnetic spectrum.

3. Students will be able to discuss methods used to detect and analyze different waves.

4. Students will create a Quipo representing the properties of different types of electromagnetic radiation.

5. Students will conduct a mock trial on electromagnetic radiation.

General Subject Areas
Astronomy, Space Science, Light

Author: Nellie Levine


Student Activities
Students will learn the basic properties of electromagnetic radiation through teacher lecture. Students will apply what they learned throught the creation of a quipo and participation in the mock trial of electromagnetic radiation.

Student Prerequisites
Knowledge of general properties of electromagnetic waves.

Accounts of trial testimony entered in an electronic bulletin board can be used to assess student understanding.

Extended Learning
Available on lesson plan pages- students can explore the concepts of continuum, emission, and absorption spectrum using real data from stars in our universe.

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Time Requirements
Approximately 1-5 weeks to collect "evidence" plus 1-5 days for the "trial"

Materials Required
-Internet connected computer with WWW browser program
-Ability to print html pages as text is helpful

Required Plugins

Additional Resources
Teacher Lesson Page

Best For Grades
middle school

National Science Education Standards (NSES)
grades 9-12

State Science Standards
Grade 7 Life Science
Grade 8 Physical Science
Grades 9-12 Earth Sciences
Grades 9-12 Physics

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