"Electromagnetic Radiation"
Unit for High School Students

©1995 The Regents of the University of California



In order to increase the quality of science education in high school and, at the same time, to develop in our students cognitive interest in science it would be helpful to incorporate elements of modern astrophysics into the curricula of different science courses, such as physics, chemistry, physical science, earth science, etc..


"Electromagnetic Radiation" unit presents us with a variety of opportunities to include this material in the most natural way. This topic not only enables us to discuss common and specific properties of each type of radiation, but also gives us a chance to include additional information about astronomical objects that generate them. This unit can serve as guiding structure for the exploration of other science topics: optics and ecology, nuclear physics and telecommunications, structure of the universe and photoelectricity, etc.

Grade level and Prerequisites:

9th - 12th grades ( knowledge of general properties of waves would be helpful.)


Objectives and the syllabus of the unit may vary, depending on the time devoted to it, the grade level of students, and teachers' preferences. These are some of the non-traditional activities that may increase the efficiency of the unit. Group research work, poster contest, science conference, quipu making, and even, putting electromagnetic radiation on trial! - are among those teaching techniques.

For further information about these topics:

Preparation and Unit Description

"Electromagnetic Spectrum on Trial" Lesson Plan

"Astrophysics" Elective Course

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