Students learn about sound and sound energy as they gather evidence that sound travels in waves. Teams work through five activity stations that provide different perspectives on how sound can be seen and felt. At one station, students observe oobleck (a shear-thickening fluid made of cornstarch and water) “dance” on a speaker as it interacts with sound waves (see Figure 1). At another station, the water or grain inside a petri dish placed on a speaker moves and make patterns, giving students a visual understanding of the wave properties of sound. At another station, students use objects of various materials and shapes (such as Styrofoam, paper, cardboard, foil) to amplify or distort the sound output of a homemade speaker (made from another TeachEngineering activity). At another station, students complete practice problems, drawing waves of varying amplitude and frequency. And at another station, they experiment with string (and guitar wire and stringed instruments, if available) to investigate how string tightness influences the plucked sound generated, and relate this sound to high/low frequency. A worksheet guides them through the five stations. Some or all of the stations may be included, depending on class size, resources and available instructors/aides, and this activity is ideal for an engineering family event.
Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction created WaKIDS resources to support kindergarten families and teachers with remote learning including the Goal Planning and Reflection Sheet, Choice Boards, and Discussion Prompts, Look Fors, and Observational Activities. Kindergarten children are not yet able to manage their learning independently, so it will be important to establish goals together with the key adults who will help them engage in remote learning. The Goal Planning and Reflection Sheet is intended be co-created with the child, their parent/guardian and teacher during meeting times. The other resources assist families and teachers to identify learning activities that offer opportunities for observation and assessment of skills, knowledge, and behavior.