Science
Strand IV
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Physical Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand IV
Content Standard 4
All students will describe sounds and sound waves; explain shadows, color, and other light phenomena; measure and describe vibrations and waves; and explain how waves and vibrations transfer energy. (Waves and Vibrations)

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4
Middle School

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4/Middle School
Benchmark 4
Describe ways in which light interacts with matter.

Benchmark Clarification

Light interacts with matter in many ways:

  • Light can be reflected (bouncing off). This can be seen when a flashlight is shone on a mirror. It is through the reflection of light that we see objects and colors.
  • Light can also be refracted (bending of light as it passes through a medium, e.g., lenses, prisms, water, air). One can see this principle when trying to grab something in the water and it is actually in a different position than perceived.
  • Light can be transmitted (light passes through an object). If light passes straight through a medium and the object can be seen clearly, the medium is said to be transparent. If light is scattered as it passes through a medium and the object is distorted or hazy, the medium is said to be translucent. If the light does not pass through the medium and is absorbed and/or reflected, the object isnŐt seen and the medium is said to be opaque.

Students will:

  • Describe the many ways light interacts with matter.

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Key Concept

  • reflection
  • refraction
  • absorption
  • transmission
  • scattering (or diffusion)
  • medium
  • lens

Transmission of light:

  • transparent
  • translucent
  • opaque

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Real World Context
Objects that reflect or absorb light, including mirrors

Media that transmit light:

  • clear and frosted glass
  • clear and cloudy water
  • clear and smoky air

Objects that refract light:

  • lenses
  • prisms
  • fiber optics

Uses of lenses:

  • eyes
  • cameras
  • telescopes
  • microscopes
  • magnifying lenses for magnification and light gathering

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How does light interact with matter?

Focus Question: What happens to light when it is reflected, refracted, or transmitted?

The teacher will explain the terms: transparent, translucent and opaque. Students will brainstorm examples of materials that have these characteristics. Students will shine flashlights in a darkened room on a variety of transparent, translucent, and opaque objects (mirrors, plastic, clear water, water with a drop of milk, wood block, prism, etc.). With a partner, each student will classify objects into three categories based upon the way light does or does not pass through them.

As a class, students will discuss situations in the real world in which light is reflected (mirror/ calm water), refracted (light passing through water in a pool causing the perceived position of an object to be different from its actual position), and transmitted (stained glass window).

Students will use their knowledge of light and write a paragraph that explains a desert mirage.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.MS.1).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.MS.3).

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

Students will be given a diagram of a pencil placed in a four hundred ml beaker of water at an angle other than ninety degrees. This diagram will also include the incoming rays of light.

Each students will draw the rays of light that are reflected, refracted, and transmitted from the beaker and pencil and write a paragraph that describes the behavior of the light rays.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Correctness of diagram

Draws one ray of light correctly.

Draws two of the three rays correctly.

Draws three rays of light correctly.

Draws three rays of light correctly.

Accuracy of description

Describes one light behavior correctly.

Describes one or two light behaviors correctly.

Describes all behaviors correctly and clearly.

Describes all behaviors correctly and clearly; explains why the pencil image is bent.

 

Science/Strand IV/Content Standard 4/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.IV.4.MS.4.html

DiSpezio, Michael. Awesome Experiments in Light & Sound. Sterling Publications, 1999.

RayŐs Reflections. AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl

Sound/Light & Color. Bill Nye Video. Disney Educational (800/295-5010).

Zubrowski, Bernie. Mirrors: Finding Out About the Properties of Light. BOSTON CHILDRENŐS MUSEUM ACTIVITY BOOK. Morrow, 1992.