Light, Sound and Waves

Tracking Brightness

Classroom Activity for 5-11 Supporting Physics Teaching

What the Activity is for

A story told with a data logger.

This emphasises the graph as a story about something and a way of communicating. It is an opportunity to increase children's familiarity with dataloggers.

What to Prepare

  • portable dataloggers with light sensors (You'll ideally need a number of portable dataloggers with the ability to see what you have captured, fitted with sensors and rigged to measure brightness in arbitrary units. Failing this you can record the light using any such device, then feed it into display unit, such as a desktop computer, later.)

What Happens During this Activity

Challenge the class to find an event where the light level varies in an interesting way.

They should record the light from this event, then tell the story of one aspect of the lightscape using a graph.

They should be allowed full access to graphical analysis and annotation tools, so that the computer does more than plot the graph. The final product should tell an interesting story.

is formalised by Law of Reflection
can be exhibited by Progressive Wave
has the special case Total Internal Reflection

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