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Activity: Beach Profile Mapping

Make a beach profile, or side view, showing the shape of the beach. You can use the same procedure to make a profile of the area outside your classroom.

Activity: Wave Patterns in a Ripple Tank

Use a ripple tank to observe various properties of propagating waves including interference, reflection, refraction, and diffraction.

Activity: Locating Surf Breaks

There are surf breaks all over the Pacific ocean basin. Using your knowledge of breaking waves and wave properties, investigate why certain surf breaks are good for surfing.

Activity: Simulate Deep-Water, Transitional, and Shallow-Water Waves

Use a long wave tank to create and observe the differences between deep-water, transitional, and shallow-water waves.

Activity: Orbital Motion of Waves

Observe orbital motion of waves in a long wave tank.

Activity: Wave Interference

Use a long wave tank to observe the properties of wave interference.

Activity: Standing Waves

Create standing waves in a wave tank and look at the effect of frequency and length of wave pulse on wavelength, wave height, wave speed, and wave period.

Activity: Watching Waves

The best way to learn about waves is to observe them. In addition to ocean waves, waves can be observed on windy days in lakes or rivers or, on a smaller scale, in swimming pools, puddles, and even a glass of water.

Activity: Make Your Own Wave

Use your knowledge of wave properties to create a wave worksheet, share your worksheet with a classmate.

Activity: Observing Sand

Analyze the composition of beach sediments by looking at sand size, shape, and source.


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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.