Everyday mySci

How Are Waves Formed?


The next time you are at the pool or even the bathtub watch carefully the different waves you can make, depending on what you do with your hands. Try these different techniques to see which ones makes the most interesting wave:

  1. Push the water away from your body with your hands.
  2. Pull the water to your body with your hands.
  3. Push the water in front of you up and down, at least 10 times.
  4. If you have a small surfboard, try using it in the three ways described above.

Questions to Ask:

  • What did you have to do to start a wave? (Use a force.)
  • Which time did it feel you were using the most force? (Pushing the water up and down.)
  • What would happen if we put a floaty toy in the water? (It would bob up and down.)
  • Why did the surfboard make a bigger wave? (There was more surface area to move the water.)