This unit focuses on spiraling concepts of the atom, the electromagnetic spectrum, energy, material properties and nanotechnology. All lab activities are student-centered inquiry labs which are open-ended. The unit also includes two POGIL activities, which should be completed within student groups of 3-4 students.


  • Education > General
  • Science > General
  • Science > Chemistry
  • Science > Engineering
  • Science > Physical Sciences
  • Science > Physics

Education Levels:

  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


light emitting diode bandgap energy light spectrum nanotechnology nanoscale engineering physics chemistry semiconductor



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Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Update Standards?

SCI.9-12.CP.1.4: Science

Know and explain that physical properties can be used to differentiate among pure substances, solutions, and heterogeneous mixtures.

SCI.9-12.CP.1.10: Science

Understand that the Periodic Table is a listing of elements arranged by increasing atomic number, and use it to predict whether a selected atom would gain, lose, or share electrons as it interacts with other selected atoms.

SCI.9-12.CP.1.15: Science

Understand and explain that whenever the amount of energy in one place or form diminishes, the amount in other places or forms increases by the same amount.

SCI.9-12.CP.1.17: Science

Know and explain that transformations of energy usually transform some energy into the form of heat, which dissipates by radiation or conduction into cooler surroundings.

SCI.9-12.CP.1.24: Science

Recognize and explain that waves are described by their velocity, wavelength, frequency or period, and amplitude.

SCI.9-12.CP.1.28: Science

Realize and explain that electromagnetic forces acting within and between atoms are vastly stronger than the gravitational forces acting between atoms.

SCI.9-12.CP.1.30: Science

Understand and explain that in materials, there are usually equal proportions of positive and negative charges, making the materials as a whole electrically neutral. However, also know that a very small excess or deficit of negative charges will produce noticeable electric forces.

SCI.9-12.2.1: Science

Describe how the nature of the interactions between atoms and molecules are reflected in physical and chemical properties of matter. Distinguish between different forms of matter. Compare and contrast chemical and physical changes and be able to predict when a chemical or physical change will occur.

SCI.9-12.3.1: Science

Describe the numbers and types of subatomic particulates and how they contribute to the structure of an atom. Describe the arrangement of the elements in the periodic table and use it to identify repeating patterns of physical and chemical properties of the atoms within it. Explain how these properties reflect the electronic structure of the atoms that make up the elements. Describe the process of radioactive decay and explain the concept of half-life for an isotope.

SCI.10-12.6.B: Science

understand the electromagnetic spectrum and the mathematical relationships between energy, frequency, and wavelength of light;

SCI.10-12.6.C: Science

calculate the wavelength, frequency, and energy of light using Planck's constant and the speed of light;
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2010-09-27.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

This 2 – 3 week unit is targeted for an upper high school audience and incorporates topics in chemistry, physics and engineering as they relate to light production within LED devices. The lessons are structured to provide the opportunity for students to frequently revisit and extend their understanding of electromagnetic waves, material properties and energy throughout the course of the unit. This unit is very student-focused and set up for student success. For example, students are able to “requiz” to demonstrate their growth in a particular content area. Throughout all activities, there is a strong emphasis on student inquiry and discovery, and include the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning, or POGIL, model. The teacher materials are detailed and clear. The lessons include clarifying images, detailed instructions, hints for implementation, assessments and answer keys for lab questions and quizzes. This well-organized unit provides materials to be challenging and engaging for high school students, as well as successfully implemented by educators in their own classrooms.
K Patterson
September 20, 2010

K Patterson
September 20, 2010

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