Feb 6, 2015

WonderWorks: The Science of Sound

Sound is vibrations!

Today's Topic: The Science of Sound
wire/metal hangers
empty tin cans (with smooth-cut edges, not jagged)
ceramic or glass bowls (small is fine)
cling wrap (Saran Wrap or any other brand)
rice or some other small, not-flat grain-like substance
glasses (I used glass jars, but because they were different brands, even empty they made different tones when you tapped on them)
pitcher of water
metal spoons
empty tissue boxes (or any plastic containers small enough to stretch a rubber band around them)
rubber bands
variety of kid-friendly musical instruments -- especially nice are xylophones or other instruments in which it's easy to tell that the objects are making different tones because of their size (not just because of their relative levels of tension which is harder to see).

 cover art Sounds all around / Pfeffer, Wendy

(This book is a great introduction to the topic! I skipped over a few parts, but did cover sound waves, echolocation and decibels.)

Feb 3, 2015

WonderWorks: Air Movers (Technology) and the Bernoulli Principle (Science)

Let's explore a variety of tools (technology!) that help us to move air or at least focus the stream of air more effectively.

Today's Topic: Air Movers (and the Bernoulli Principle!)
plastic drinking straws
hair dryers (make sure they have a cool setting or at least a "cool shot" button that can be taped down)
round, lightweight balls (ping-pong, styrofoam, even plastic eggs work in a pinch)
a variety of things that can (and can't) be pushed around by air blown through a straw (we used pom-poms, rubberbands, toy cars, drink bottle caps, shapes cut out of foam sheets, bouncy balls, feathers, wooden blocks, buttons, packing peanuts)
buckets (optional, but as you'll see later, they can be lots of fun!)

 cover art One winter's day / Butler, M. Christina

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