Light, Sounds & Time

How do you sense the world? In Light, Sound, & Time, you will dive deep into your surroundings and how you perceive the world. You will focus on how humans experience light, sound and time. Then, you consider the bigger picture: how do these concepts function regardless of human interaction? You will build a camera, musical instrument, and time-telling device, and explain their functionality through the languages of math and science.

Course Units

What would life look like without light?


In this unit you will focus on light, illuminating the answers to questions like: What is light? How does it travel? How fast does it travel? How do we perceive light? How do we capture it? And how do we create light-capturing devices?


Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

  • How do we see the light?
  • How do we capture light?
  • Who says you need to buy a camera?

How does radio let you hear the world?

We have an emotional reaction to music, to sounds, to voices. When we fall asleep, hearing is the last of the 5 senses to shut down. When we hear a song we like, sometimes we remember the exact moment when we heard it for the first time. In the second Journalism unit, you will investigate why and how radio has been used to connect us to here and now, with an average frequency of 10^6 Hertz. In this unit, you will take on the role of a radio-journalist, practicing both the essential skills of interviewing, as well as script-writing and sound-editing. After practicing essential skills and concepts of radio-journalism, you will produce a story to tell a mini-biography of a voice important to the 21st century. For this Action Project, you will need to search for a story, collect interviews, record karaoke and edit soundbites. You will present the result as a podcast piece to be shared with the world. Here are some guiding questions you will pursue:

  • What are the essential skills, values and concepts of radio-journalism?
  • How do you produce a radio story?
  • What’s the story of a voice, in 3 to 5min?

How does time flow from the Big Bang to the Big Ben?

In this unit you will investigate how a sundial embodies principles of trigonometry, a pendulum reveals the concepts of circles, and geographic coordinates structure time around the globe. Externally, you will explore how different cultures tell time through light & sound. Finally, you will create your own prototype of a time-telling device, show your model, prove the principles, & explain its purpose. Here are the unit sub guiding questions you will pursue:

  • Why do we measure time?
  • How are different times measured in different cultures?
  • Who says you need to buy a clock?

  • Science: .5
  • Math: .25


Traditional Subject Course Units SCED Codes
Geometry, Trigonometry Unit I. Light 02103
Trigonometry Unit II. Sound 02103
Geometry, Trigonometry Unit III. Time 02106


Traditional Subject Course Units SCED Codes
Physics Unit I. Light 03153
Physics Unit II. Sound 03151
Physics Unit III. Time 03161