Nature of Light: Characteristics of Light

Science ObjectDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Nature of Light SciPack. It establishes the concept that electromagnetic waves can interact with materials in different ways. For example, they can reflect off a material’s surface. We can see an object when light waves that are emitted or reflected by the object enter the eye. Electromagnetic waves can also pass through materials, sometimes slowing down or changing direction as a result of entering and leaving the material. Or, electromagnetic waves may be absorbed or scattered within the material. Electromagnetic waves and other waves diffract around corners, and interfere with one another in predictable ways.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle

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Reviews (10)
  • on Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:05 PM

Light and color is an interesting way to teach students the visual color spectrum. It takes a difficult topic and breaks it down into understandable packages. These packages are easy for students to understand and simple to teach.

Ryan Erskine
Ryan Erskine

  • on Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:05 PM

Light and color is an interesting way to teach students the visual color spectrum. It takes a difficult topic and breaks it down into understandable packages. These packages are easy for students to understand and simple to teach.

Ryan Erskine
Ryan Erskine

  • on Sat Sep 16, 2017 7:05 PM

Light and color is an interesting way to teach students the visual color spectrum. It takes a difficult topic and breaks it down into understandable packages. These packages are easy for students to understand and simple to teach.

Ryan Erskine
Ryan Erskine

  • on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:31 PM

In my classroom, we were learning about the characteristics of light. We did do different activities to explore the relationship of light and darkness, reflection and refraction. This science object Nature of light: Characteristics of Light served as a great resource to deepen my understanding of light.

Seth Kwizera  (Houston, TX)
Seth Kwizera (Houston, TX)

  • on Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:04 AM

The assessments are an excellent way to check for understanding. If you keep watching and assessing yourselves eventually it will all come together.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:33 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, theNature of Light: Characteristics of Light Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:54 PM

From understanding the electromagnetic spectrum to learning how electromagnetic waves can interact with medium in various ways, this science object is an excellent resource for educators new to instructing 'Light', and valuable for those who have taught it before but need a refresher!

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:21 PM

Great examples, explanations, and interactive/simulations to help better understand characteristics of light. The assessing throughout the science object was very helpful. However, the summative assessment at the end did not correlate as well as the formative assessment did.

Kristie C
Kristie C

  • on Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:15 PM

Good for small hands on activity to help show fiber optics. Good to show on screen how light is reflected.

Tory Addison
Tory Addison

  • on Sun Jun 19, 2011 5:27 PM

Having not taught "Light" before, I found this Science Object a good start, especially for middle school teachers. It helped refresh my memory of what I was taught in school. It has several interactive simulations to help "see" the differences between reflection, refraction, and diffusion. This basic teaching terminology/concept needs to be understood clearly to be able to convey the information dealing with light without creating any misconceptions. I felt this Science Object did a good job of helping me.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia


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