Feel the Vibration

Today your child began an exciting science program in their classroom offered by Science from Scientists. SfS is a Boston-based, non-profit organization that strives to improve science and technology attitudes and aptitudes. We send real scientists into the classroom during school every other week to teach exciting, fun, and curriculum-relevant science lessons. We will be visiting your child’s classroom every other week throughout the school year. We will bring engaging, informative, and stimulating hands-on lessons with us to supplement the school’s science curriculum.

Mr. Stanmyer, Dr. A, and Mr. Hart will be you scientific instructors for the rest of the academic semester. Mr. Stanmyer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Clark University and studied how DNA repair proteins interact with DNA. Dr. A got her Ph.D. in Biotechnology and focuses on combining pharmacology and genetics in a psychiatric setting. Mr. Hart received his Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and studied multiple brain diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease. They are all very excited to get students actively engaged in scientific discovery!

Today we discussed sound and learned that sound travels in longitudinal waves, transmitting the vibrations of an object through a medium (solid, liquid, or gas) to our ears, where our brain interprets the pressure waves as various tones.  Interestingly enough, sound, unlike light, requires a medium to travel through and while we often hear loud explosions during space battles in SciFi movies, this is not scientifically possible because in the vacuum of space there is no medium for the sound wave to move through.

Through a series of activity stations, students got to experience firsthand how sound moves differently through different materials, and how factors such as string tension & thickness and pipe length affect the pitch of sounds in musical instruments. Using simple instruments (rubber-band banjos, pipes, and glass harps), we studied how the vibrations each instrument made were related to its pitch (frequency) and volume (amplitude).  We also learned that sound travels better through solids, than liquids or gases.  Ask your student why this is true (due to the tightly packed atoms of a solid being able to transmit the vibrations or sound wave better).  Students had a blast making noise and learning about sound compression waves!

Additional Information:

Throw on a pair of headphones and check out this fun video to test how “old” your ears are:  How Old Are Your Ears from ASAP Science   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxcbppCX6Rk

Please check the Classroom Post on our website regularly to read about the science activities that your child is participating in and to view photos from your child’s classroom.

Keep in Touch with Science From Scientists!
How to view your child’s Classroom Post:
1. Visit our website at: https://www.sciencefromscientists.org/for-families
2. Click on the link for See inside the classroom.
3. Select your school/grade from the list.
4. Enter the password: SFS2016
. Submit the form then save a bookmark to skip these steps next time!

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