AM in the PM

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In this activity, learners will listen to as many radio stations as possible to discover that AM radio signals can travel many hundreds of miles at night. Learners log the call signs, locations, and quality of the transmissions on a data table. This resource includes information about how AM radio transmissions differ at day and night, the ionosphere, the history of call letters, and NOAA Weather Radio. Note: this activity must be completed during the evening or early in the morning before sunrise and learners must have access to an AM radio.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • Radio Station Reception Form
  • Pen/pencil
  • Access to AM radio


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
      • Diffraction and Interference
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and History

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Music
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • read
  • hear

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, National Weather Service,