Science Week 2021: The Science of Sound

We are learning about how sounds are made and how they travel to the ear.

(Sound waves travel rather like the way a wave will move through a slinky).

We are learning all about how our ears look and how they work.

We can make funny sounds with balloons, grass and plastic.

There’s lots more to learn about sounds.

We had some sound buckets.  We were able to guess what might be in each bucket, and then match the bucket up with the thing we thought might be in the bucket.  We got most of our guesses correct.

We were able to identify different items just by the sounds they make and we could sort our musical instruments according to sound words.

We discovered that different sized elastic bands made different sounds.  Large elastic bands make a low sound when plucked, and short elastic bands make higher sounds.

In the same way long straws and long instruments like boom whackers make low sounds while short straws and short instruments make high sounds.

Teacher had a little wind up music box.  When she wound it in the air, the music (Beauty and the Beast) played really softly, but when she wound it up when it was on wood, metal or cardboard, the vibrations of the music travelled through the wood (metal/cardboard) and the vibrations were amplified and the music sounded much louder.

Can you think of a strange instrument?  Well, you could make instruments out of vegetables! or you could put a bolt into a balloon and spin it quickly.  We noticed that the smaller the bolt, the higher the buzzing sound and the larger the bolt the lower the buzzing sound we could make.

We were able to make spoons sound like bells by getting their sound to travel up along a piece of string and into our ears.  This was very surprising.

We found that small spoons make high sounds while large spoons make very low sounds. Oven trays make amazing sounds when scratched with a pencil!

We also used string telephones.  We could see how sounds can travel up the string and get amplified in the yoghurt pots. 

We had a lot of fun watching the vibrations from a tuning fork transferring to plastic dishes and on to the the rice and peas in the dishes.  Watching the vibrations in water and in a ping pong ball was especially interesting.

See the musical instruments we designed and made as part of our lessons on sound.

Here are more musical instruments from Ms. Kyne’s first class.

See the zoom class we held for other 1st and 2nd class to explain how to design, make and play musical instruments.

Here’s teacher showing student teahers in Marino College of Education how to do all the sound investigations with their students.