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Educator Resource: Curriculum Module

Between a Rock and a Dark Place

Can you see in the dark? How is sound produced? How could these answers help get you out of a sticky situation nearly a mile underground? Find out as you explore concepts related to light and sound.
Early Elementary
Time required
Minimum of five 55-minute sessions

Jessie, a scientist at the Sanford Lab, is stuck “between a rock and a dark place”. 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

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.