University of Virginia
Physics Department

Fetal Ultrasound

A Physical Science Activity

Student Activity


  1. Complete the following activity sheet.


Activity Sheet


  1. How does an ultrasound use sound to make a picture?



  2. Why do you think doctors use ultrasounds instead of x-rays to take pictures of fetuses?



  3. Brainstorm different reasons for having a sonogram. What information could you get from the image?



  4. The following three images are sonograms at different stages of pregnancy. Put them in order from youngest fetus to oldest fetus.




  5. What parts of the body can you see in each of the sonograms? At what point do you think that you could determine the gender of the baby?



  6. The following image is a three-dimensional sonogram. Is it easier or harder to see the fetus in this sonogram? How old do you think that the fetus is, compared to the above pictures? Label the body parts that you can see.




  7. The following images are also three-dimensional sonograms. What interesting thing was discovered about this baby by using a sonogram?




  8. What can you determine about the pregnancy from the following sonogram?