Friday, December 6, 2013

Light and Sound Experiments!

As part of our science curriculum, the students have to learn all about concepts of light and sound!  We decided to teach these concepts through introductory videos and books and then through hands-on experiments.  

The students had such a great time.  We had the following stations, which they rotated through:
  • Bouncing Sounds
  • Bending Pencil
  • Duck Call
  • Screaming Cup
  • Kaleidoscope
Bouncing Sounds required the students to make a megaphone/hearing aid and experiment with the types of surfaces that reflect or absorb sounds.

In Bending Pencil, the students observed a pencil in a cup of water and reflected on what they saw and why they felt the pencil looked bent.  They then watched a Study Jams video on light refraction, and reflected on the scientific reason the pencil looked bent.

Duck Call was hilarious!  Using a straw, the students made their own duck call.  They cut the straw to different lengths, observing the change in pitch of the sounds their duck call was making.  Again, they reflected on the reasoning behind how the duck call makes noises and how the pitch was affected.

Boy!  Screaming Cup was so much fun for the students!  They used the good ole experiment of attaching a string to the inside of a cup, getting the string wet, and then observing the sound made when they ran their fingers down the string.  Again, more reflection on what happened and why!

The students also loved Kaleidoscope, as they got to experiment with reflections in mirrors and then make their own kaleidoscope.  (No, not with actual mirrors!)  

All of these experiments required the students to do their own reflecting on what happened and why, as well as to learn and reflect on the actual reasoning behind the experiment results.  

The kaleidoscope station had a teacher at the station to talk to the students about the reflection of light; however, the other stations had a Why It Works paragraph explaining the reasoning behind the results, with the exception of the video in the Bending Pencil station.  

It was important to us to ensure the students had access to the true reasoning behind the results!  

I thought I'd share these fun experiments we used, as they were a big hit with our kiddos!  Of course, it was hysterical when anyone walked into our room during the experiments, as all the sound stations made it quite loud and entertaining!  Oh, the fun of science!  :-) 

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