Electromagnetic Waves vs. Mechanical Waves Science Games

In this series of games, your students will learn the similarities and differences between two types of waves. The Electromagnetic Waves vs. Mechanical Waves learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.

Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.

Concepts Covered

Waves are disturbances that transfer energy from one place to another. Mechanical waves travel through matter, causing it to vibrate, expand and contract, move up and down, side to side, or in circles. They include water waves, sound waves, and seismic waves.

Light is the transfer of energy via electromagnetic waves. Unlike mechanical waves, which require matter, electromagnetic waves can travel through empty space, as well as through liquids, solids, and gases.

There are many similarities between light waves and mechanical waves. They can both be measured by their amplitude, wavelength, and frequency. When they interact with matter, they can be reflected, transmitted, absorbed, refracted, or diffracted.

Visible light, radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays make up the electromagnetic spectrum. They all travel at the same speed — the speed of light — in a vacuum, but when they come into contact with matter, they slow down.

Light keeps traveling through space until it encounters matter. Some of the light we see from faraway stars has been traveling through empty space for billions of years.

In total, there are eight games in this learning objective, including:

  • Castle of Sand: Electromagnetic vs. Mechanical Wave
  • Hidden Waves
  • Wave Bender
  • Electro Shooter
  • Captain Wave
  • Wild Card!: Electromagnetic vs. Mechanical Waves
  • Eureka – Fluxcharger
  • Mr Genius Electromagnetic vs. Mechanical Waves

A further preview of each game is below.

You can try the games within the learning objective for free on the Legends of Learning site with an account.

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Tags: light, color, wave, electromagnetic, mechanical, longitudinal, transverse, sound, matter, amplitude, frequency, wavelength, space, spectrum

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