Ohio Resource Center
Grade 8: Physical Sciences Benchmark D: Waves and the Transfer of Energy
This mini-collection on waves and the transfer of energy is aligned to Physical Science Benchmark D: Describe that energy takes many forms, some forms represent kinetic energy and some forms represent potential energy; and during energy transformations the total amount of energy remains constant. Several of these resources are also aligned to the scientific process standards; in addition, the resources provide multiple opportunities to incorporate writing into science instruction. Providing students with opportunities to apply science to real-world situations is a strategy that should be used regularly.

Physics 2000 (ORC#: 3615)
Do you need a refresher on the basic principles of waves? This content resource provides information primarily dealing with electromagnetic waves. (author/cb)

HyperPhysics: Sound and hearing (ORC#: 3701)
The Sound and Hearing portion of this website provides information relating to sound propagation, refraction, reflection, resonance, pitch, Doppler effect, and traveling and standing waves among many other topics. Each topic is explained using real-life examples, as are commonly found on the OAT. (author/cb)

Blinded by the Light (ORC#: 1012)
Have you ever seen a night sky that is truly dark? In many locations, light pollution makes it impossible to see a dark sky. This site provides basic information about the impact of electromagnetic (radio and light) wave pollution on observatories used for astronomy.

Suggestions for reducing light pollution, concerns about increasing radio wave pollution, and some mention of the impact of light pollution on animals are provided in this article. Students must be able to apply science to real-world situations such as this and analyze consequences and alternatives to proposed solutions on the OAT. (author/cb)

Wave Motion (ORC#: 3833)
This content resource is a set of nine hands-on activities for exploring waves. Students are required to:
  • identify the frequency, amplitude, and phase of a wave
  • identify and explain the difference between a transverse and longitudinal wave
  • relate the concept of vibration to frequency and pitch
  • (author/cb)

Amazing Space (ORC#: 208)
Online Exploration: Star Light Star Bright is part of this website that explores the nature of the electromagnetic spectrum. In this activity students identify the different properties of waves and the relationship that exists between energy, wavelength, and frequency. Students correlate images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and other astronomical instruments to the wavelength, color, and temperature information that can be found in the spectrum. They then draw conclusions based upon data displayed in graphs.

Skills incorporated in this lesson, such as drawing conclusions, identifying properties of waves, and applying science to real-life examples are skills commonly found on the OAT. (author/cb)

NAEP Assessment Item, Grade 8: Identify the property of sound waves that corresponds to loudness (ORC#: 7231)
What property of a sound wave changes when the pitch is held the same but the loudness increases? Sixty-five percent of all eighth grade students who responded to this item could not correctly identify that the amplitude changes. Students commonly confuse amplitude with frequency, wavelength, and speed in air. (author/cb)

NAEP Assessment Item, Grade 8: Cause of sound (ORC#: 1612)
This constructed-response question asks students to explain what causes the sound made by a bell and how the sound travels across a room. A completely correct response for this question demonstrates understanding of how sound is produced and how sound travels. Only 6% of all eighth grade students who rresponded to this item correctly responded to both parts of the question. (author/cb)