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Carolina® Laser Music Demonstration Kit


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Grades 9–12. Teach students how information is embedded in waves with modulation to encode an audio signal in a laser beam using a transformer. Students delve into electronic components as they observe electromagnetic induction as a transformer amplifies an audio signal, which is then transmitted across the room via a laser pointer, converted by a photovoltaic cell into electricity, and finally converted back into an audio signal through a dynamic speaker acting as a transducer. The activity effectively illustrates the roles that the components play in encoding and decoding information (modulation/demodulation) and transforming energy from one form to another acting as transducers to play music (e.g., MP3 player, smartphone).

PE: HS-PS4-5
Time Requirement: 20 minutes demonstration and up to 15 minutes preparation
SEP: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
CCC: Structure and Function
DCI: PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation

The teacher's manual provides questions to help students understand each component's function and the underlying principles at each stage of the circuit. Kit materials are for a teacher demonstration and include teacher's manual, student guide, and free 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS.

Kit activities build toward the following Next Generation Science Standards* Performance Expectation: HS-PS4.5. This kit is designed to integrate into a larger unit of lessons addressing wave mechanics, electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


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