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Sound

Science World Resources has over 350 fun, hands-on activities to share with you! In honour of our rocking, original exhibition, AMPED, this month’s featured activities are all about sound.

Sound is made of vibrations. The source of a sound causes nearby air molecules to vibrate, or bump, into other nearby air molecules, which in turn bump into their neighbours and those molecules bump into their neighbours and so on. The result of this chain reaction of vibrations is called a sound wave. A sound wave travels through the air to the eardrum and causes it to vibrate, which enables us to hear the sound. 

How a sound wave is experienced when it reaches the eardrum depends on a few things: the distance the wave has to travel, the types of molecules it has to travel through and the source of the sound. Think about how different it is to talk to your friends underwater in the swimming pool than it is to chat with them on dry land. What happens to sounds in big, empty spaces as opposed to cramped, stuffy ones? Have you noticed that some sounds are deep and rumbling while others are high and squeaky?

Check out some of these sound demonstrations, games and activities:

Demonstrations:

Sound = Vibration, Vibration, Vibration
Modelling a Sound Wave
Feeling the Vibes

Activities:

Speaking Involves Air, Vibration, and Muscle
Exploring Pitch and Volume
Whirly Tubes
Weight a Minute
"Whacky" Music
Rainsticks
Bullfrog Caller/Cuica
Spoons on Strings
 

External links:

How the Ear Works from Bill Nye
Good Vibrations: The Science of Sound from World Science Festival
Evelyn Glennie: How to Truly Listen from TED Talks