Between a Rock and a Dark Place

Why is it so hard to see in the dark? How does sound travel? Study cause and effect relationships as you explore how people can communicate over distances using light and sound in a variety of ways.

Curriculum module tags

Grade level

Content area

Time required

Minimum of five 55-minute sessions

Curriculum module media

Looking down an underground drift

Jessie, a scientist at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, is stuck “between a rock and a dark place”. During this unit students imagine themselves in an underground drift and conduct investigations related to light and sound to devise an engineering solution to enable Jessie to communicate with others at a distance.

Between a Rock and a Dark Place-- Light and Sound

Curriculum Standards

  • 1-PS4-1

    Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

  • 1-PS4-2

    Construct an evidence-based account for how objects can be seen only when illuminated.

  • 1-PS4-3

    Plan and carry out an investigation to determine the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light.

  • 1-PS4-4

    Design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.

  • 2-PS1-1

    Plan and carry out an investigation to describe and classify different kinds of materials by their observable properties.

  • 2-PS1-2

    Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

  • K-2- ETS1-1

    Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.