Cool Labs

Waves on a Helical Spring
Waves on a Helical Spring

Students investigate properties of mechanical waves using a helical spring: wavelength, speed, reflection, standing waves, interference. Neither amplitude nor frequency affects wave speed. As wave frequency goes up, wavelength goes down, and vice versa. Wave pulses can interfere constructively (adding...

Tuning Fork Interference
Tuning Fork Interference

Tuning Fork InterferenceTwo waves, when traveling through the same medium, will superimpose upon one another, causing interference. In the case of sound, the two sounds will combine to form a single sound. This lab asks students to combine the sounds...

Slinky waves
Slinky waves

Students investigate properties of mechanical waves using a "slinky" spring: wavelength, speed, reflection, standing waves, interference. Good for grade levels 5 through 8 Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets Required Equipment Acknowledgements: Thank you to Dwight "Buzz" Putnam for his...

Refraction and Total Internal Reflection
Refraction and Total Internal Reflection

Students will be able to observe that refraction (bending) always takes place at the interface between two different transparent materials and that the angle of refraction in plastic is smaller than the angle of incidence in air. The light is...

Wave Motion
Wave Motion

It’s the “wow” when kids realize the demo isn’t just entertainment…“We can’t drill to the center of the Earth, so how do we know about its crust, mantle, inner and outer core? How can we find the epicenter of an...