Seeing sounds

posted in: Skill Based, STEM! | 0


20 minutes

You’ll need:

  • Small bowl    
  • Cling film 
  • Tape
  • Small amount of salt/sugar/rice or hundreds and thousands sprinkles
  • Something to make noise with (you can use a metal spoon with a pan or cake tin, a musical instrument  or even your voice)


Sound travels in waves which we cant see. Doing this activity you can see the vibration of sound.  So when you make noise, waves of sound are created and travel through the air.   When you hear the waves, our eardrums vibrate and the waves go into our inner ear.  



Cover the bowl with cling film, you need to pull the cling film really tight and tape them down so it feels like a drum.


Sprinkle the small grains you chose to use onto the middle of the cling film.


Next get the spoon and bang the pan near to the bowl and make as much noise as you can.  Can you see the grains moving? 


Now try other things you can make noise with. Try singing or humming next to the bowl quietly at first getting louder. 

Which makes the grains move or jump higher? 


Try putting the bowl next to or on speaker and play your favourite song on high – what difference does that make? 


You could give this a go with water and food colouring as well to see if it reacts differently.
Have a look at this youtube clip to see what happens if you put cornstarch directly onto a speaker!

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