Introducing waves! The prelude to Working with WAVES curriculum is called Float Boats. We build different types of boats to learn about waves. The word wave has many different meanings but it always refers to a back-and-forth movement or a rising and falling motion. We learn about longitudinal and transverse waves as well as pressure waves in our body. During each heartbeat, the muscles of the heart contract causing a wave of pressure which forces blood through the arteries.
We construct origami boats, rubber band paddle boats, Styrofoam outriggers, and water bottle pontoon boats with triangular sails. We float our boats in a shallow water tough while experimenting with the effects of water vibrations and wind. We make wave sculptures learning how ocean waves start in the sky caused by wind. We explore what causes the wind to blow. As the sun warms the Earth’s surface, the atmosphere warms too. Some parts of the Earth receive direct rays from the sun all year and are always warm. Other places receive indirect rays, so the climate is colder. Warm air, which weighs less than cold air, rises. Then cool air moves in and replaces the rising warm air. This movement of air is what makes the wind blow.
- Brief history of Origami: After papermaking was introduced to Japan from Asia in the 7th century, Japanese people developed a way to make a type of thin, durable paper that became known as washi. At first it was mainly used for official record-keeping and Buddhist religious writings. Washi came to be used in Shinto religious rituals as well, and it became customary to wrap offerings to the gods, and many other things, in paper. This tradition lives on today: paper is folded to make traditional ornaments called noshi, which adorn wrapped gifts. People also eventually came to enjoy paper folding for its own sake – this is known as origami.
Wave Sculpture Lesson: Each students gets a wood base with two screws on top and a section of wire. Wrap each end of the wire around a screw head. Shape and bend the wire to make a frame for your wave. Place a piece of pantyhose over the sculpture from the top down, so the open part is around the wooden base. Younger students can paint the sculpture. Older kids can spray-paint their wave sculpture (remember to wear a mask when spray painting).