Super Science Day

This week, we were lucky enough to have a whole school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) Day with a visit from two STEM ambassadors. The theme of the day was Sound and there were different activities going on across the school all day to do with making, recording, changing, measuring and experimenting with sound. It was a very hands-on day with lots of investigating and experimenting.

In the infants, we spent the morning making paper shriekers and a chicken in a cup (a cup with a piece of string threaded though that made a noise like a chicken when the string pulled with wet hands.) We also experimented with the sound made by hitting glass containers with a wooden spoon and how we could alter the sound by adding varying amounts of water. In addition, we investigated how to solve the problem of how to make a loud noise to signal the start of a race at sports day using only PE equipment. In the afternoon, we had demonstrations from Mr Edwards of loud and quiet sounds and how sounds are made by vibrations that make sound waves and then we experimented with making instruments using containers and elastic bands.

Class 3 had a fantastic morning observing patterns in sound. They listened to the sound a stick dragged across a grill rack made through string attached to their fingers and made a match fall off a glass that was vibrating from a nearby sound. They also watched the pattern that a laser beam makes when it is vibrating to a high or a low sound. They watched soundwaves make patterns in salt and then sent messages down string telephones!

In the afternoon, they made kazoos out of tongue depressors and elastic bands. It was great fun.

In Class 4 we tried to measure the speed of sound. Outside we measured the greatest distance we could on the field (around 58m), then split into 2 groups. One group had to bang 2 planks together; the other had to time the difference from seeing the planks hit, and hearing the hit. This was very difficult - we discovered that we couldn't press the timer button quickly enough to get an accurate measurement.

Inside the classroom a tube of cardboard was set up with a microphone attached. A sound was sent down the tube, and then measured using Audacity. This gave a pretty accurate measure of how fast speed travels.

In the afternoon, we made reed pipes out of straws. We measured the length, then blew into them, recording the sound into Audacity. This allowed us to find out the number of hertz our reed pipe made. We then cut off 2cm and recorded the sound again. We found we began to spot a pattern in the hertz: the shorter the reed pipe, the higher the number of hertz.

We had a brilliant time exploring sound and would like to thank Simon, Alle and Lizzy for coming in to teach us.

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