This entire lesson will take approximately 1 week of class to complete.
Day 1. Show the students the picture of an x-ray included in the materials. Have them initially write down everything that they know about that x-ray. Ask for student responses. Then, ask them if they can see x-rays and how do they know that x-rays are present. Ask additional follow-up questions based on the class responses. Then, tell the students that the electromagnetic spectrum is used in society every single day in a variety of careers. During this lesson, they will explore the electromagnetic spectrum and its properties. Then, they will research a career using one type of wave on the spectrum and describe how electromagnetic waves are transmitted and received in this career.
Day 1. After the before strategy, the students will use the NASA electromagnetic video and the NOVA Electromagnetic Tour Interactive to gather information to complete the electromagnetic organizer chart. They should also begin to add information based on their own research for the transmission and reception of the waves in a career using the electromagnetic spectrum that THEY CHOOSE. At the end of class on day one, discuss the spectrum and the properties of each type of wave. Discuss the patterns that are present in wavelength, frequency, ability to ionize matter, etc. Have the students complete a 3-2-1 as a formative assessment at the end of class. The attached PDF and PowerPoint Presentation provide information regarding this assessment. (1 to 2 class periods)
At the beginning of class on days 2-3, ask the students some questions to review their research: Which type of electromagnetic radiation has the MOST energy? The LEAST energy? Which type of electromagnetic radiation is invisible to the human eye? Which type(s) of electromagnetic radiation may be used in medical careers? Which type(s) of electromagnetic radiation may be used in telecommunications careers? Feel free to feed off of student answers on the 3-2-1 from the previous and guide them based on their responses in class. Then, introduce the rubric for the video to the students. Answer any questions that they may have regarding the video assignment. Each student should then add research to their chart that will specifically help them create their video. Finally, have each student create a video that describes one type of electromagnetic wave and how it is specifically used in a career. They should also include how the wave is transmitted and received in this career. Use the video rubric to grade their video as a summative assessment. The creation of the video could be done as a homework assignment, if students have access to the materials outside of class and if they are comfortable using video editing software. If students do not have access to the editing materials outside of class, creating the video in class will ensure that ALL students will complete the assignment. (2 to 3 class periods)
At the end of the activity, the students may love to show their videos to the class or even the school if time allows. If possible, a class contest could be held and the top three videos could be placed on the school webpage.