Riding the Radio Waves

Students learn how AM radios work through basic concepts about waves and magnetic fields. Waves are first introduced by establishing the difference between transverse and longitudinal waves, as well as identifying the amplitude and frequency of given waveforms. Then students learn general concepts about magnetic fields, leading into how radio waves are created and transmitted. Several demonstrations are performed to help students better understand these concepts. This prepares students to be able to comprehend the functioning of the AM radios they will build during the associated activity.