Wave Properties

11-13 yrs old

Computer Science


Students use code to model wavelength, frequency, and amplitude.

avatar Submitted By: John Miller

October 29, 2018


  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

Supporting Files

World File

World file for student use

Learning Objectives

  • Students will understand how to use agent move and place commands.
  • Students will understand how to use loop repeat commands.
  • Students will learn that a simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (NGSS PS4.A)

Guiding Ideas

Loops are used to simplify the implementation of repeating commands.

The agent can place blocks in any of 4 directions.

Frequency is defined as the number of waves that pass a point per second.

A wavelength is the distance between the crest of each wave.

Amplitude is the vertical distance between a crest or trough and the equilibrium point.

Student Activities

This activity is best completed by individual students, or students working in pairs.

With the help of their agent, students are to examine the model wave found at the spawn point. They will also discover 4 empty “posters” of different sizes, each with an equilibrium point across the center.

Challenge students to expand on the sample code attached to the model wave poster and create four new posters that meet your expectations. For example, students might be asked to code their agent to:

  • Create a wave with a higher or lower frequency
  • Create a wave with a different amplitude
  • Build a wave with a longer or shorter wavelength
  • Build a wave and label the parts with slates or signs

Students will likely use the agent move and place commands but should be allowed to discuss and experiment with options.

Some of the empty posters are taller and some are wider to support trial and error.

Slabs (half-sized blocks) are used in the example wave, but students may want to experiment with full-sized blocks.

Performance Expectations

At the end of this activity, students will have produced four examples of waves.

Students will be able to identify wavelengths .

Students will be able to define amplitude .

Students will be able to identify which model has the highest and lowest frequency.

Students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How are loop commands beneficial when writing code?
  • How was the code that instructed the agent to move toward the crest different from the code moving toward the trough?
  • What is the difference between amplitude and wavelength?
  • How is a high frequency wave different from a low frequency wave?



  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Supporting Files

World File

World file for student use