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S2 Science (Sound and Light) Course Plan


Curriculum Area Curriculum for Excellence ‘Benchmark’ Activity


and waves

Demonstrates through practical investigation how refraction can cause a change of direction of light as it passes from one material to another.


Describes the practical applications of refraction in everyday situations, for example, in corrective lenses in glasses, and in magnifying glasses and optical instruments.


Explains how a visible spectrum is produced as light passes through a prism.



Demo various examples of waves (ripple tank, ‘Mexican’ wave, 3D pendulum, ruler on desk). Count waves per second i.e. ‘frequency’ and relate to ‘pitch/tone’.


Use slinky spring and/or animations to explain longitudinal versus transverse.


Demo shadow formation to show light travels in straight lines. Discuss laser levellers/surveying tools/gun sights etc. (practical applications).


Demo parabolic reflector and discuss its use in telecoms. Research/build solar heaters and/or solar power stations.


Discuss use of convex parabolic mirrors; security, at blind corners, on buses.


Introduce refraction; coin in mug/ruler in glass vase. Investigate refraction in convex and concave lenses with laser ray boards.


Explain the eye and investigate vision correction using lenses and corrective surgery


Investigation of colour mixing (battery LED kits) + demo with variable power LED kit. Discuss LED TV’s. Demo colour mixing with variable power LED kit with mask.


Investigate the visible spectrum by dispersion of white light using a triangular prism.


Construct and demonstrate the use of a periscope, pinhole camera, microscope and/or telescope.


Research the commercial, medical and industrial uses of some optical instruments.



and waves





Describes the electromagnetic spectrum as a family of waves including Gamma Rays, X-Rays, Ultraviolet, Visible Light, Infrared, Microwaves, Television and Radio.


Researches at least one application of an electromagnetic wave beyond the visible in everyday life, giving advantages and limitations of that application.

If available, organise a talk by a local radiographer or dental nurse on X-rays. Examine X-ray photos, gamma camera slides.


Applications of IR: thermograms, thermometers, cameras, remote controls (range)  Safety issues with X-rays and gamma.


Try to include as many examples as possible from:

·         Detection of infrared from remote control on camera phone

·         Use of web-cam or digital camera in near dark situations

·         Ultraviolet sensitive dyes and beads

·         Security markers and ‘invisible ink’ messages

·         UV safety: sunbeds, sun creams, sun

·         Detection of radio waves of different wavebands in different rooms in a building or behind metal obstacles

·         Range and variety of TV/radio stations

·         Range of walkie-talkie radios

·         Applications of microwaves and safety issues

·         Transmission and reflection of microwaves


The applications and associated hazards of Gamma rays, x-rays, ultra-violet, visible, Infrared, microwaves and radio waves.