Science Reasoning Center - Vibrations and Waves

There are three Vibrations and Waves passages that target students' science reasoning abilities. They are ...
Period of a Pendulum
13 Questions
This passage describes three simple experiments conducted by students in order to determine the variables that affect the period of a pendulum. Each experiment is described and the results are presented in the form of a graph. Questions target a student's ability to understand the design of an experiment, to identify the effect of one variable upon another variable, to draw a conclusion that is consistent with collected data, to read values off a graph, to extrapolate beyond the range of values on a graph, and to use provided data to make a prediction about the period that would result under a given set of conditions.
Mass on a Spring
12 Questions
This passage describes the up and down motion of a mass on a spring using a diagram, a position-time graph, and a velocity-time graph. Questions target a student's ability to select values from a graph, to combine information from two different graphs to draw appropriate conclusions, to identify the amplitude and the period, and to interpret the graphs in light of information on a diagram.
Standing Waves on a Rope
13 Questions
This passage describes a collection of three experiments investigating the possible effect of three different variables upon the speed of a standing wave. The experiments are described and frequency-wavelength-speed data are presented in tables. Questions target a student's ability to understand the design of an experiment, to combine results from two or more data presentations in order to draw appropriate conclusions, to interpolate and extrapolate from data in a table, to predict the results of an additional trial, to translate information from a data table to a graph, and to make predictions based upon a model.
On the Resource CD:
A Resource CD is being prepared to assist classroom teachers in using this section of the website more effectively within their classrooms. The Physics Classroom hopes to release the CD during the Fall semester of of 2014.

The Vibrations and Waves section of the CD will include six different passages, including these three passages. The passages are accompanied by questions, answers with thorough explanations, and a table that associates each question with a specific science reasoning skill (or college readiness standard). Each passage includes considerably more questions than those presented here in the Science Reasoning Center. In addition to PDF files, the information on the CD is also available as Microsoft Word files, allowing teachers the ability to pick and choose questions from the large bank of questions associated with each passage.

More information about the CD can be found at the Resource CD page.