September 8

Senses – Hearing


I wonder if any of my kindergarten scientists will be a Foley artist. This lab may have steered them in that direction! We began our time together by repeating three part patterns using movement and sound. This is a fun way to learn how to follow multi-step directions.

Did you know that you can amplify the sound on your phone by just placing it in a cup? As I pulled my phone in and out of the cup below, we could hear the volume increase and decrease. You can also make speakers from recyclable materials. Click here to learn how to make your own speakers. This is a fabulous at home engineering challenge that solves a real problem! How would your results change if you varied the size of the cups or used cups that were made from different materials? What happens to the sound when you use a longer tube?

I shared some of my favorite sound makers – bike horn, train whistle, sound hose, and duck call. Click here for more information about sound hoses. My scientists were amazed at the sound created by the air twirling inside the hose.

Sound was also amplified in the thunder tube. Click here to find out how to make your own thunder tube. Sound cups also demonstrate this concept. This would be a fun at home project too! Click here for directions on how to make “talking cups.” The smiles below testify to how much we enjoyed this investigation. I wish you could hear the sound track! Will changing the size or material of the cup change results?

We struck tuning forks and could see them vibrating, but when we touched them, the vibrations stopped. When we placed the handle of the tuning fork on our lab tables, the sound increased because sound travels easier through solids. Then we placed our ears directly on our lab tables and the sound from the tuning forks was even louder! At home, ask your child to place his/her ear on the table. Then tap the table with different objects. Is the sound louder with your head on the table?

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