The Topic:
Listen to the Radio

Easier - Radio is a way of sending sounds through the air by electrical waves. Radio also refers to the equipment that is used to send and receive those broadcast waves and convert them into sounds.
Harder - Radio, the shortened name for radiotelegraphy, is an important means of communication. It enables people to send words, music, codes, and other signals to every part of the world and even into deep space. Radio works by creating communication signals and changing them into radio waves, a type of electromagnetic wave. These radio waves are then transmitted through the air and space at the speed of light - - 186,282 miles per second. They can even get through some solid objects, like building walls. A radio receiver changes the waves back into their original sounds.
Broadcasting ranks as the most familiar and widespread use of radio. Radio broadcasts feature music, news, discussions, interviews, descriptions of sports events, and advertising. In earlier times before widespread use of television, radio also delivered dramas, comedies, variety shows, live music, and other kinds of programs. Today, many people wake up to clock radios, drive to their work listening to car radios, and also spend some of their leisure time hearing their favorite radio programs. In addition to broadcasting, radio is also used for quick communication by pilots, police officers, firefighters, and other individuals. Scientists use radio waves to learn about the weather. Some telephone messages are carried by radio. Some radio enthusiasts operate their own amateur radio stations. In other kinds of uses, radio beams send communication signals for navigation instruments and remote control devices for all kinds of different equipment.
How Radio Works by M. Brain from HowStuffWorks
'Radio waves' transmit music, conversations, pictures and data invisibly through the air, often over millions of miles -- it happens every day in thousands of different ways!
Related Pages at HowStuffWorks:
2) Do Certain Radio Wave Frequencies Pose Health Risks? (Question of the Day)
3) How the Radio Spectrum Works by M. Brain
4) How Satellite Radio Works by K. Bonsor
5) Is There An Easy Way To Record A Radio Show So I Can Listen To It Later?
(Question of the Day)
6)Why Do All FM Radio Stations End In An Odd Number? (Question of the Day)
7) Why Do You Hear Some Radio Stations Better At Night Than In The Day?
(Question of the Day)
Another Related Website:
8) How Things Work: Radio
United States Early Radio History by T. H. White
Here you can read articles and extracts about early radio and related technologies, concentrating on the United States in the period from 1897 to 1927.
Related Websites:
2) 100 Years of Radio: 1895-1995
3) Early Stages of Soviet and American Radio Broadcasting
4) Golden Years from Old Time Radio (Timeline)
5) History of Radio from Wikipedia
6) Radio Broadcasting History Timeline
7) Radio History on the Web from The Broadcast Archive
8) Radio History by World of Wireless
9) Unofficial Page of History of Radio from 1895-1945 by J. Carroll, S. McArthur, and J. Holmes
10)World of Wireless: Radiomuseum
Radio Transmission from PBS Science Odyssey: You Try IT
For almost 100 years radio has allowed us to send sounds over the air. How, exactly, is this done? The activity in this section shows you how.
Hello Radio from the American Radio Relay League
Getting started in Amateur Radio has never been easier. First, locate a radio club in your area. Begin learning about the entry-level exams for an amateur (ham) radio license.
Related Websites:
2) Ham Radio Online Classroom
3) How Ham Radio Works by G. Brown from HowStuffWorks
4) QRZ Ham Radio
After exploring several of the websites on radio history and technology, complete one or more of the following activities.
Build Your Own Radio. Find some help at sites like (1) Build Your Own Crystal Radio at the American Museum of Radio, (2) Crystal Radio Page, (3) Oatbox Crystal Set Project, (4) Project Crystal Radio, (5) Crystal Radio Construction Notes, and (6) How A Crystal Set Works. An alternative radio plan can be seen at Foxhole Radio. Build one from 'scratch' or you can purchase a kit for a crystal set at an electronics store like Radio Shack.
Complete A Radio WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures that you find at the following webQuest sites: *Both WebQuests Highly Recommended - Take Your Pick!
1) Radio Days by C. Matzat (Grades 6-8)
2) Radio Discovery Web Quest by L. Taylor (Grades 3-7)
Prepare To Be A Radio Announcer. Do you know that public speakers or people who want to work in radio and television often practice saying tongue twisters to help them speak clearly. Try your hand at (1) Tongue Twisters at CBC 4 Kids, (2) Tongue Twister Database, and (3) Tongue Twisters at The Childrens Stomping Ground. Next you could write some of your own tongue twisters; get some startup ideas at Tongue Twisters.
Write A Story About Radio. Create a story that involves a radio. You may want to set your tale in the 1920s and imagine what life would be with a radio in your house. Or place yourself in a wartime survival situation and you have a windup radio. Or even better, work on a story idea of your own. Share your efforts by publishing your finished radio story.
Write And Perform A Radio Script. Use the websites on scriptwriting and broadcasting to learn more about radio. Write a script and then perform the program. Audio tape your radio show so that you can listen, evaluate, and improve your performance.
Put Together A Radio Exhibit. See if you can build a radio museum. Gather as much information as you can about their history. See how many different types of radios you can collect: homebuilt radios, crystal sets, battery models, and transistor radios. Remember, your museum could be 'virtual.' You would not have to have the actual radio but would need a photo or illustration.
Join A Radio Club. See if your school has a radio station and or club to join. If not, gather a group of your friends and classmates who are interested in learning about radio broadcasting. Plan and produce your own radio programs. If you have enough numbers you can delegate responsibilities for areas such as news, sports, commercials, radio dramas, advertising, and sound effects. Have fun and practice, practice, practice.
Websites By Kids For Kids
Ham Shack (1998 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
This site introduces the hobby of amateur radio, also called 'ham radio.' Find out what amateur radio is, the equipment needed, the various terms and language used, and the licensing requirements.
Radio (2001 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
Tune into a site filled with cool facts on the radio! The radio isn't just used to entertain you, you know. Find out about the inventor of the radio - Gugliemo Marconi, how the radio works, and how the radio is used. Also find out about different frequencies like AM/FM.
Wireless Communication (2000 ThinkQuest Internet Challenge)
Here is information on all wireless communication products such as radio, microwave, and wireless local area networks. This includes information on how they work, modern uses and developments, and much more.
More Radio Websites
American Museum of Radio
This is the online home of a museum that has a collection of vintage radios and other examples of broadcast and entertainment technology from the early 20th century. The website includes a sampling of the collection, audio segments from vintage radio broadcasts, and much more.
Clockwork Warfare from BBC News
Learn how military strategists are using the wind-up radio in war-torn Afghanistan.
Related Websites:
2) BayGen Free Play AM/FM/SW Wind Up Radio
3) Introduction to the Freeplay Wind-up Radio: A Humanitarian Success Story
4) Research Compares Freeplay with Conventional Radios
Conrad's Garage: Replaying The Earliest Days of Radio from National Public Radio
Some people say that' Frank Conrad's garage is the place where the modern broadcasting industry began.
Related Websites:
2) Frank Conrad: 1874 - 1941 from Adventures in CyberSound
3) Frank Conrad: Pioneer of Radio Broadcasting
4) Frank Conrad's Garage
5) Save the Garage! from the National Museum of Broadcasting and
Guglielmo Marconi from the National Inventors Hall of Fame
Read or listen to how the pioneer of radio made his discoveries.
Related Websites:
2) Birth of Radio-1901
3) Guglielmo Marconi from PBS
4) Inventors Radiate Radio Through the World
5) Lee de Forest from PBS
6) Marconi, Guglielmo from DiscoverySchool
How It All Began from Alice School of the Air
Learn about the early days of 'radio school' in Australia.
Other Education Via Radio Websites:
2) Learning for Life: UNESCO in Mongolia
3) Radio Education For Afghan Children from BBC World Service
4) Radio for Distance Education in Developing Countries
5) Teaching by Radio at the Department of Non-formal Education&emdash;Botswana
Live Radio On the Internet
On this site, you will find links to thousands of radio stations worldwide, all of which, with the correct (free!) software, you will be able to hear via your computer.
Similar Websites:
2) BRS Radio Directory
3) Radio-Locator
Format for a Radio Play Script
This page presents a sample format for writing a radio play script.
Related Websites:
2) 1938 'War of the Worlds' Radio Broadcast Wavs
3) Hints on Writing Radio Drama by T. Crook
4) Old Time Radio Script Collection from The Generic Radio Workshop
5) Principles of Writing Radio Drama by T. Crook
6) Radio Drama Writers Kit by T. Palermo
7) Scripting Audio Drama by Y. Rasovsky
8) 'War of the Worlds' Script
Psychological Power of Radio by T. Crook
This article summarizes some of the great radio spoofs such as 'War of the Worlds.'
Radio Sound Effects - Theory, Catalog and 'How To' Guide by T. Palermo
Here you find information on sound effects, a list of effects both manual and mechanical that are used at the Museum of Television & Radio's Los Angeles 'Re-creating Radio' workshops, plus how to make some standard SFX devices.
Related Websites:
2) Art of Foley
3) Movie Sound Effects at PBS's Newton's Apple
4) Radio Sound Effects by J. Stearns
5) Sound Effects by J. French
Virtual Radio University
A collaborative effort of four separate UK universities, this comprehensive site provides online radio industry training and reference resources in four categorical areas: (1) News, (2) Presentation, (3) Sales, and (4) Service, Image, and Management.
Other Radio Broadcasting Websites:
2) Discussion Programs for Radio
3) Radio Announcing
4) Radio Sportscasting
5) Radio Talk
What Are Radio Waves?
Radio waves are part of a larger group classified as electromagnetic radiation. This large group of waves can be divided based upon varied frequencies and wavelengths. Lean more here!
Related Websites:
2) Electromagnetic Spectrum from NASA
3) Uses of Radio Waves
Websites For Teachers
AM Radio Ionosphere Station from Solar Storms and You (Grades 7-10)
Using an AM radio, students will construct an Ionosphere Monitor to track solar storms and other changes in ionosphere reflectivity.
Integrated Learning with an AM Radio by A. Ninno (Grades 5-12) from AskERIC
By operating an AM radio, students will practice listening and note taking skills, learn about local and regional US geography (cities, states) as well as topics in other academic subjects as appropriate for their specific grade level. It is important to understand that the radio is a general purpose tool for learning, like a computer, and may be used by students to practice information seeking and communication skills across a variety of academic subjects.
Related Curriculum Article by A. Ninno:
2) Radios in the Classroom: Curriculum Integration and Communication Skills
Teacher Radio from Scholastic
This is a weekly Internet radio program designed for teachers.
Related Website:
2) Tune In to Teacher Radio! from Education World
Media - Radio by M. Marchand (Grade 10)
When the students finish this lesson, they will be know a little about how radio functioned as 'the television of a generation.' They will also know what goes into making a radio play.
Similar Lesson Plan:
2) Collaborative Lesson - Old Time Radio (Grades 7-12)
Radio Revolutionized the World by J. LaFors (Grades 7-12)
This lesson unit and accompanying activity are designed to help students understand the social impact of radio and its unique characteristics as a medium. Included in the lesson are guidelines for discussing radio technology and students' relationships with radio, comparing and contrasting radio with other media, conducting a 'media inventory' poll, and other lesson plan ideas. The activity, 'Radio Reflects Society: Roaring in 1926' requires students to research radio in the 1920s as they produce their own dynamic radio broadcast.
Why Can You Receive AM Radio Better At Night Than During The Day?
(Grades 10-12)
This question will hopefully start as the jumping off point for you and your students into an exploration of the principles of radio transmissions, atomic structures, electromagnetic waves, the ionosphere, and the state-of-the-art remote sensing capabilities.
electromagnetic spectrum
radio astronomy
ham radio
Federal Communications Commission
Morse code
AM radio
FM radio
radio wave
digital radio
post production
Internet radio
wind-up radio
remote sensing
solar flare
crystal radio
radio transmission
short wave radio
radio station
walkie talkie
codes, ciphers & secret messages
radio telescope
'golden age of radio'
amateur radio
'on the air'
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 12/01.