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Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
Entire class
Active Time
45 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
Area of Science
Computer Science
Key Concepts
Electronic communication, signals, digital, analog
Learning Objectives
  • Understand how noise impacts analog and digital signals differently.
  • Explain how digital methods are better than analog methods for storing, copying, and transmitting information.
works with google science journal app
static on a CRT TV flat screen TV

Overview

We hear the word "digital" all the time—digital technology, digital device, digital TV, etc. But what does it actually mean? In this lesson plan, your students will learn how digital signals allow us to reliably transmit and store information.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS4-3. Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that digitized signals are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Planning and Carrying out Investigations. Collect data about the performance of a proposed object, tool, process, or system under a range of conditions.
PS4.C: Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Digitized signals (sent as wave pulses) are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information.
Science is a Human Endeavor. Advances in technology influence the progress of science and science has influenced advances in technology.

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


materials printer paper, graph paper, and phone with google’s science journal app
  • Printer paper (1 piece per student). Make sure the paper can be used for tracing (do not use heavy weight paper).
  • Graph paper (1 piece per student). Make sure the paper can be used for tracing (do not use heavy weight paper).
  • Scissors (for teacher prep work)
  • For the entire class: Smartphone or tablet with Google's Science Journal app, available for free on Google Play for Android devices (version 4.4 or newer) or from the App Store for iOS devices (iOS 9.3 or newer).

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Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
Entire class
Active Time
45 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
Area of Science
Computer Science
Key Concepts
Electronic communication, signals, digital, analog
works with google science journal app
Learning Objectives
  • Understand how noise impacts analog and digital signals differently.
  • Explain how digital methods are better than analog methods for storing, copying, and transmitting information.

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