Our 'Wonder of Sound' science workshop makes the most of the amazing properties of sound to not only teach the basics of the physics behind the sounds we hear, but also to extend pupils' knowledge about the history of recorded sound which led to the recording of the songs that they listen to today.
This story is told via an interactive presentation, filled with factual science and historical examples of the development of sound and its essential uses through the ages, such as a demonstration of a bell inside a vacuum chamber to show how sound travels through air and many more fun front of class activities.
The workshop then continues with pupils listening to a real 1898 Thomas Edison phonograph before making their own paper strip music box songs, to listen to in the workshop and to keep as a memento for home or your topic books. This is then followed by a detailed SC1 investigation to really challenge pupils observation and recording skills.
ACTIVITIES IN THE FULL DAY VERSION OF THIS WORKSHOP:
(This can be for one class, several classes in turn, or choose one activity as part of a multi science day with other classes)
THIS SCIENCE WORKSHOP
AT A GLANCE
A full day or a single 1 hr session
as part of a multi science day
For this year group as per the 2014 National Curriculum:
NC objectives covered:
identify how sounds are made, associating some of them with something vibrating /Recognise that vibrations from sounds travel through a medium to the ear / find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it
1. PRESENTATION ON THE SCIENCE AND HISTORY OF SOUND
One of the most popular musical instruments for hundreds of years, music boxes have a unique sound that are familiar to many people throughout the world.
Pupils look at how a music box produces sound before cutting their own paper music strips to play in the bespoke music boxes provided. After their songs have been played in the workshop, they are then free to take home or paste into topic books as a memento of their learning.
2. MAGNIFICENT MUSIC BOXES
3. SOUND INVESTIGATION
One of the most challenging parts of teaching KS2 science are scientific investigations, or in other words the SC1 strand of the National Curriculum, which allow pupils to discover for themselves the properties of the physical world by learning how to plan, conduct and evaluate the results of fair tests.
With that in mind, this full afternoon carousel investigation challenges pupils to conduct fair tests using sensitive decibel meters and sound recorders to evaluate the properties of sound in the environment in the following investigations:
1) Testing for general noise levels by moving around the school to record the volume of different sounds
2) Testing the ability of different materials to conduct sound, by using a mounted decibel meter in a fair test 'drop the ball' apparatus
3) Testing the ability of materials to muffle sound using specially constructed 'buzzer' boxes and finally they
4) Record and playback environmental sounds from around the school in order to compare and discuss them in a whole class plenary at the end of the session.
This timeline-based presentation takes pupils through the core science of how sound is produced, covering all the NC topic objectives with fun front of class demonstrations and mini experiments for pupils to take part in.
We then move on to the history of recorded sound with a look at the development of the phonograph leading into the music making task later on.
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