November 11, 2016

This is a four-page student guide developed for use with the PhET "Wave on a String" simulation. Written by a high school teacher, the activity provides a roadmap for secondary physical science students to learn about wave properties in an interactive environment. Students explore how amplitude, frequency, and wavelength affect the movement and speed of a wave. The wave simulation, which must be open and displayed to complete this activity, is available from PhET at: Wave on a String. This lesson is part of PhET (Physics Education Technology Project), a large collection of free interactive simulations for science education.

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Model with mathematics.

Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities.

Use variables to represent numbers and write expressions when solving a real-world or mathematical problem; understand that a variable can represent an unknown number, or, depending on the purpose at hand, any number in a specified set.

Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.

Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation.

Use functions to model relationships between quantities.

Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.

Create equations that describe numbers or relationships

Create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems. Include equations arising from linear and quadratic functions, and simple rational and exponential functions.

Rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations.

Interpret functions that arise in applications in terms of the context

For a function that models a relationship between two quantities, interpret key features of graphs and tables in terms of the quantities, and sketch graphs showing key features given a verbal description of the relationship.?

Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.?

Interpret expressions for functions in terms of the situation they model

Interpret the parameters in a linear or exponential function in terms of a context.

Model periodic phenomena with trigonometric functions

Choose trigonometric functions to model periodic phenomena with specified amplitude, frequency, and midline.?