Yerkes Summer Institute 1999
CARA Space Explorers

making waves!

Welcome! Tonight you begin an adventure that will be exciting and informative. You’ll receive your tee shirts and these identify you as a member of an elite group, THE WAVE MAKERS! Yes, indeed. When you’re done, you will be an honest-to-goodness, absolute, can’t-argue-with-that, wave expert! (Well, anyway, you’ll know a lot more about waves than you do now.) You will be rotating through labs where you can make all kinds of waves: water waves, sound waves, and light waves. You will explore density waves when you study far off galaxies, you’ll become "ghost-busters" and "sun glass" experts. You’ll "Slinky™ " waves, "Follow the Leader" waves, make a "human wave" and crash waves. By the end of the institute, you’ll even be able to wave bye-bye. (Okay, so some wave things you can already handle, I’m just getting carried away with wave fever, I guess.) Even your group names are based on waves. Of course, it will be up to you wave experts to figure out what kind of waves you are. So… some of you will be the rockets others will be the heat and last but not least the sonics

Get ready now to…

Institute Organization

Let’s talk about how we are going to go about our wavy endeavors. We’ll look at several key components of the institute and how they are organized.

Driving Questions

These are questions that drive the investigations that you are going to be doing in each lab. As you work through each lab, you will build an understanding of the concepts covered in each of these questions. Your are responsible for constructing an answer for each of these questions by the end of the institute. One or more of the labs will help you reach this goal. Questions like: You will be given specific driving questions at the beginning of the institute. Until then, think about some of the questions above.


Labs are three hours long. You will meet for two hours and then after your daily meals, another hour is provided for further exploration, extensions, and/or related investigations. This will give time to process the information. There will be six day labs and three night labs.

Analysis Groups

Each of the three main groups will be divided into two sub-groups. This will form the six analysis groups. Each day lab will have one of these groups as their data analysts. In this group you will gather the data from each team doing your lab. You will examine that data, analyze the results, and come to some conclusion based on those results.

Jig Saw Session

After your analysis group has come to some preliminary conclusions about the data you have collected, you will have a chance to share those findings with your peers in other analysis groups. You will randomly be assigned letters of the alphabet. Based on the letter you’re assigned, you will regroup with students in other analysis groups that have the same letter as you do. Each of you will share with those students the results that your group has examined and any conclusion that you have come to based on those results. Other members will listen to you and ask questions, make comments, or suggest possible errors. You will do the same for them when they share their group’s findings. Following this you’ll return to your analysis group and look at the results again thinking about remarks made during the jig saw sessions.

Group organization visual


Final presentations will be made to your parents on Thursday evening and Friday morning. During these sessions you will discuss what you did, what the results were, and any conclusions that you were able to make (or explain why you couldn’t come to a conclusion). You will then become the instructors so your parents can perform some part of the lab. These sessions will run longer than last year.

Written Artifact

You will, in your analysis group, prepare a written document that explains, evaluates, and provides a lab rewrite that will enhance future enactments of the lab.

You will be receiving additional information on each of these components during the institute. Enjoy!

Go on to the introduction to waves!
Go back to the main page.