Light Waves Stations NGSS MS-PS4-1 MS-PS4-1 Google Ready Electromagnetic


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These stations will captivate kids and make LIGHT come alive! You will get “ooohs” and “ahhhs” as the students wonder in amazement at the power of light! And! This resource is phenomena driven!!! A very important part of NGSS is doing activities that are phenomena driven, also known as discrepant events. When students do activities with very little prior knowledge the students WANT to know the answers and it fosters the metacognitive process. I tell them it’s ok they don’t know the answers and that they will get a chance to learn about what the science is behind the phenomena they observe using the websites I provide. The 8 stations take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

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Here’s the activity in a nut shell:

-At each of the 8 stations, the kids do something with light that is pretty cool, like dipping a glass rod in oil and it disappears.

-They write down an observation.

-Say why they think it happened.

-Go to a website I provide. Read and/or watch a video.

-Explain why it happened.

-Circle one or more of the properties refraction, reflection, absorption or transmission that the station demonstrates.

Here are the 8 stations in more detail:

Light Station One:

– Students push a bowl with the penny at the bottom just far enough away so they cannot see the penny. Then someone else pours the water in the bowl and the water refracts the image of the penny making it appear higher than it is and it gives the students the ability to see the penny.

Light Station Two:

– Students put a pencil in a glass of water. They look at it from the side and the refraction of light makes it look like the pencil is broken.

Light Station Three:

-Students place several drops of water in a washer that’s on a microscope coverslip. The meniscus on the surface of the water acts like a magnifying glass and makes objects appear larger.

Light Station Four:

-Students look at the concave side of a spoon and the image reflected of themselves is flipped so they look upside down.

Light Station Five:

– This one is the messiest but it really surprises the students as the rod and test tube disappears in vegetable oil

Light Station Six:

– Students try to write words that they see in a mirror which is difficult considering the word is reversed and upside down.

Light Station Seven:

– The students shine light through tinted plastic sheets so that it casts that color of light on to a white sheet which demonstrates transmission. Then students do the same with the dark sheet which demonstrates absorption.

Light Station Eight:

-Students pour water into a large beaker as they are looking through the beaker at an arrow on a piece of paper on the other side. When the water level rises above the arrow, the arrow appears to switch direction.

Waves Light Stations Materials for eight stations

I have two sets for most of the stations and I provide two laptops per station. However, students can use their phones or do the website portion for homework. Below are the materials I provide for each station and I have much more detailed teacher tips and pictures of each station if you were to purchase this product:

-Station 1– Two bowls, two pennies and water.

-Station 2- Two glass containers and two pencils.

-Station 3- Two washers, two microscope coverslips, droppers to place water in washer.

-Station 4- Two spoons.

-Station 5: Large container of vegetable oil, two glass containers, two test tubes, two glass rods (optional), two containers to pour the oil from.

-Station 6: Two small mirrors and a piece of paper to write a word on.

-Station 7: Dark construction paper, White paper, various colors of tinted plastic sheets and flashlight or flashlight on a phone.

-Station 8: Piece of paper with an arrow written on it, a large glass container and another container to pour the water from.

I recommend you take a look at my Analog Vs. Digital Wave Properties 5E Telephone Lab, Waves Sound Stations, Waves Doodle Notes, Electromagnetic Spectrum Doodle Notes, Waves PowerPoint and Bill Nye Waves that would accompany the Waves Light Stations perfectly.

This product Includes the following:

-Student copy

-Answer key

-Student directions for each station

-Detailed Materials list and teacher notes

Includes the following concepts:

  • Light
  • Medium
  • Reflection
  • Refraction
  • Absorption
  • Transmission

Includes the Following NGSS Standards:

PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation

• When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and the frequency (color) of the light. (MS-PS4-2)

• The path that light travels can be traced as straight lines, except at surfaces between different transparent materials (e.g., air and water, air and glass) where the light path bends. (MS-PS4-2)

• A wave model of light is useful for explaining brightness, color, and the frequency-dependent bending of light at a surface between media. (MS-PS4-2)


• All rights reserved by Williams Hands On Science, Inc.

• This product is to be used by the original purchaser only.

• Intended for classroom and personal use only.

• Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited.

• This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view.

• Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

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