Now Hear This!

Last term we made lots of important discoveries about building and sustaining healthy relationships. This term we hope to develop some expertise about building and sustaining healthy environments.

Our Term Two inquiry will help us to answer this big question:

Why are we bothering to try and answer this question? Well ... knowing about sound and its effects helps us to build and sustain learning environments that suit us.
The key understandings we want to develop during the term are that ...
(1) Sound energy produces vibrations that can travel through solids, liquids and gases.
(2) Volume and pitch depend on the size and speed of the sound waves.(3) Scientific methods are used to discover and explain how sounds are made.
(4) Classroom layout and design can be altered to cater for our noise level preferences.

One of our dad's is a builder and property developer. He showed us how building materials and methods are used to improve the acoustics of hotel and motel rooms, apartments, restaurants, cafes and bars. If builders and designers forget to consider noise factors guests and customers complain about not being able to get to sleep, and about not being able to hear what others are saying!

Using eight SOUND LITERACY MUSEUM stations we have been FINDING OUT lots about sound. These are the main understandings about sound that these stations have helped us to develop.

The coat hanger molecules vibrated and the sound travelled up the string and into our ears.


The volume of the sound in music goes up and down. The pitch of the sounds in music changes from high to low.


The rice bubbles vibrated when we played the drum. The sound waves are invisible but we know they are there because they made the rice and the rice bubbles move.


It is quite hard to identify some sounds when you can't see what is making them.


Wool telephones do not make as clear sound as string telephones do. It is hard to hear whispers but easy to hear normal voices. The string needs to be tight to so the vibrations and sound waves can travel through it.


Sound waves can travel through quite a few things.


The glasses that had more water in them made a low sound and the glasses with less water made a high sound.


There are damage zones, danger zones, a less than 15 minutes zone and a comfortable zone. You need to know how loud a sound is to know which zone it fits into. The volume of sound is measured in decibels.

Bob Bickerton ~ a musician and a musical sound expert

What did we learn about sound from Bob Bickerton?

  1. Musical instruments make different sounds because of the way they are made. An instrument with a big shape will make a low sound.

  2. Musical instruments are used in cartoons and when there are weddings in movies because their sound make us feel as if it is real.

  3. Long instruments sound low and short instruments sound high.

  4. You need the know-how to play music. You need to know where to put your hands on an instrument to make the right vibrations.

  5. Sounds are made by vibrations.

Marlon ~ a Mechanical Engineer and sound expert

What did we learn about sound from Marlon?

  1. There are little 'bubbles' in the air that shake when we make a sound! They are called MOLECULES.

  2. When molecules vibrate the sound travels all the way to your ear.

  3. You should block your ears when there are loud sounds because you can become deaf. PROTECT your ears!

  4. If you damage your hearing you cannot repair or fix the damage. If you go deaf you cannot get your hearing back unless you use hearing aids.