Carolina STEM Challenge®: Wave Machine Kit

Carolina STEM Challenge®: Wave Machine Kit

SKU: 750049NC

In this investigation, students apply their knowledge of wave properties to solve an engineering problem, "How can understanding the science of waves help engineers design better communication systems with less noise and clearer signals?" Thirty students working in groups of 3 build wave machine prototypes using duct tape, wooden skewers, and clay. Students then develop a protocol, based on Morse code, for sending a short 3-letter message through the wave. Once machine operation is mastered, students use the engineering cycle to redesign the machine for better performance.


Construct a wave machine to learn about wave properties and encoding and decoding information with signal modulation/demodulation.


Learning Objectives

  • Be able to build a mechanical wave machine that models a transverse wave.
  • Develop a protocol for sending a signal containing a coded message using the machine.
  • Improve the design of the wave machine for use as a communication device by reducing noise in the system.