Through a number of science demonstrations and hands-on activities, Dows Lane Elementary School second-graders – who had been studying about sound in their science classes – experienced how vibrations are responsible for the sounds they hear and learned that sound vibrations can travel through different mediums.
Thanks to a grant from the Irvington Education Foundation, they welcomed scientist Christopher Green to their classrooms on Oct. 19 to experience the science enrichment program Sounds. Throughout the lessons, Mr. Green interacted with the students to bring the concepts to life for them. The students felt the vibrations in their throat as they hummed and discussed how changing the vibrations can also alter the pitch of a sound. They also saw that when a Popsicle stick is struck, it vibrates and produces sound.
“With science, the students need hands-on experiences,” teacher Kari Carlson said. “They need to see it, hear it, read it and do it. Having that multisensory piece helps students internalize how sound works, especially since it’s such an abstract concept for them, having to think about the vibrations in the air that they don’t see.”
In another experiment, the students learned how sound travels through solid objects when Mr. Green asked them to place their heads on their desks and feel the vibrations that a tuning fork makes when struck. They also created different sounds on a homemade guitar by placing a rubber band around a wooden box and pulling on the rubber band with a Popsicle stick.
“That connection to music is really important,” Carlson added. “We’re experimenting with what sound is all about so they can start internalizing what makes sound, how sound travels through the air and how you can see sound through vibrations.”
In addition to the Sounds program for second-graders, the Irvington Education Foundation had generously funded the first-grade science enrichment program, Facts of Matter. From Oct. 23-25, Mr. Green will visit first-grade students, who had been studying about the properties of liquids and solids, to provide them with a number of science demonstrations and help them experience how the state of matter changes.