FLA Week6: A wavy line that connects - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

Lesson Details

Age Ranges
Fab-Modeling.2, Fab-Fabrication.2, Fab-Design.2
Additional Contributors

You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.


Megan Pee


Explore waves in our environment and the characteristics of sinusoidal waves—amplitude, frequency, and wavelength. 


Students will go through the 4 phases of Engage – Explore – Explanation – Extension learning activities to learn about sinusoidal waves.


In the engage activity, students will watch a video clip of waves in nature, before focusing on the characteristics of sinusoidal waveforms. [https://youtu.be/8aCokqZ8w5E?t=14]


Students will be prompted observe the pattern of the phenomenon they notice in the video.


In the explore activity, students will share their observations of the features they noticed from the waveform in the youtube video. They will experiment with the kinetic wave motion machine to gain a sensorimotor experience of a sine wave.


In the explanation activity, the teacher will go through the theory of waves using this video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2s2fZr8sqQ]. Further elaboration is made by 3 additional videos:

·       https://contrib.pbslearningmedia.org/WGBH/buac20/buac20-int-wavesamplitude/index.html

·       https://ophysics.com/waves1.html

·       https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/html/waves-intro/latest/waves-intro_all.html


In the final extension phase, students are asked to share design applications inspired by sinusoidal waveform.




The Instructions

Engage Activity

This activity builds motivation for this lesson through real life experiences.

1.    Teacher will play a video of sea waves using a video clip of a sinusoidal waveform



2.    Teacher prompts students to observe the patterns they detect from the sea waves shown.

Explore Activity

Students experiment with the sinusoidal wave kinetic structure to explore its characteristics

Teacher carry out the following steps:

1.    Ask students to share the features they noticed from the waveform in the youtube video

2.    Solicit the features of waveform : wavelength (or frequency) and amplitude           

3.    Invite students to manipulate the sine wave kinetic sculpture

4.    Prompt students to examine the wavelength and amplitude of the sinusoidal wave kinetic sculpture

5.    Ask students to share sinusoidal waves they encounter in everyday life, besides sea waves?


[Some answers which teacher may use:

The periodic rotations of a crankshaft in an engine

The rotation of a Ferris wheel

The fluctuating hours of daylight in a specific location throughout a calendar year


Tae Kwan Do https://youtu.be/q0F7ByzE41E?t=87

Stadium waves https://www.exploratorium.edu/blogs/tangents/stadium-waves

Wavetank https://youtu.be/Z8lBSU1rc_A]

Explanation Activity

Reinforce the understanding of sine wave by some theories and computer simulation

Teacher go through the following steps:


1.    Go through the explanation of the characteristics of sinusoidal waveforms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2s2fZr8sqQ



2.    Change the parameters to observe changes in the sinusoidal waveform





3.  Determine the characteristics of a wave through a short exercise (wave.pdf).

Extension Activity

Students demonstrate their understanding of a sinusoidal wave by linking to design applications inspired by sinusoidal waveform.

Teacher may share and solicit some design applications inspired by sinusoidal waveform. The examples may share similar physical characteristics or more intrinsic patterns.


[Some answers:

•       Henderson wave, Bosjes Chapel (explicit visual waveforms)

•       Light installations by Tatsuo Miyajima (subtle waveform pattern)

•       Casper bedside lamp to improve sleep (subtle waveform pattern)]


  • (Fab-Modeling.2): I can construct compound shapes and multi-part components ready for physical production using multiple representations.
  • (Fab-Fabrication.2): I can develop workflows across four or more of the following: modeling softwares, programming environments, fabrication machines, electronic components, material choices, or assembly operations.
  • (Fab-Design.2): I can participate in design reviews with prepared presentation materials as well as give and receive feedback from peers.

Lesson Feedback