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Build Your Own Crystal Radio

In this activity, students will research how a radio sends and receives AM and FM signals.

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Grade Level: Grades 11-12
Discipline: Physics

Next Generation Science Standards:  
HS-PS4-5: Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.
HS-PS3-3: Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
HS-PS4-3: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other. 

California Content Standards:  
4. Waves have characteristic properties that do not depend on the type of wave. As a basis for understanding this concept: a. Students know waves carry energy from one place to another. e. Students know radio waves, light, and X-rays are different wavelength bands in the spectrum of electromagnetic waves whose speed in a vacuum is approximately 3x 108 m/s (186,000 miles/second).

In this activity, students will research how a radio sends and receives AM and FM signals. Students will design and construct a crystal radio. Students will also demonstrate their knowledge of how a radio works using electromagnetic radiation by creating a presentation, flier, or poster to showcase their expertise.  

Learn more by downloading the activity plan above. 

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