Sound & Waves

Use experiments to teach science

This collection of hands-on activities covers the main concepts for studying waves and sound. You'll use different vibrating objects and see how each makes sound. Investigate wavelength, speed, frequency, amplitude through building a variety of models. Compare two types of waves transverse and longitudinal (compression) waves using a hands-on approach. Determine how pitch is related to frequency and see how differently-sized objected vibrate with different frequencies and therefore make different pitches or notes. Learn a few ways of amplifying sound and investigate how humans locate sound in three dimensions.

Are Your Students Engaged?

Are you looking for a way to engage kids in their science learning? Are you eager to see your students become scientists in your classroom?

That's the goal of this course...

Activity Highlights

Can you see sound? Not exactly, but you can see the vibrations that are present whenever there is sound.

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Use a spring toy to model different types of waves.

Bigger objects tend to vibrate more slowly and thus make lower notes. You can easily see this using a variety of instruments.

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Make a wave machine. They're super fun to play with, and a great learning apparatus. And they last for years so it's a great time investment.

How do we locate sounds in our environment. It has a lot to do with the shape of our ears. Play a fun game and see for yourself.

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What's Included in the Course/Unit?

    • Written instructions include:
    › Simple directions (written to students)
    › Questions and worksheets
    › Explanations for the teacher
    › Answer keys to help with assessing student work.
    › List of materials and setup hints.

    › Video instructions including:
    • A demonstration of the activity
    • Hints and strategies for preparing each lesson

    › Course platform with a forum for asking questions if you need further clarification or support.
Enroll in Course for $37

Concepts and Topics Addressed in this Unit:

    ✦ Observing vibrations made by objects
    ✦ Investigating wavelength, speed, frequency, amplitude
    ✦ Models for transverse and longitudinal (compression) waves
    ✦ Determining that pitch is related to frequency
    ✦ Investigating how longer, larger objects make lower pitches
    ✦ Amplifying sound through vibrations
    ✦ Locating sounds in three dimensions
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​Invite students to become scientists in your classroom

As fellow scientists they need to learn to investigate, discover, measure, observe, examine...

And these skills take time and repetition.

 

But repeating stuff can be boring…

That’s where labs come in! 

Many of the labs are teaching the same fundamentals but use different materials to keep things interesting.

 

What if you don’t have time to research the science behind a concept?

I’ve got you covered... Sections in the written instructions and the videos should answer your questions. Here you’ll also find hints and helps for running an activity. Additionally, the Teacher Notes sections will give you plenty of background information. You won’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

What if your kids are at different levels?

Ah, differentiation! In my classroom everyone did the Core Labs—marked by Δ. These are the labs we talk about in our discussions and they provide the content for what we test. Extension Labs go deeper or broader—some are tangents, and some repeat the core concepts for kids who need that.

What if you don’t have time to introduce a lab?

No worries! if students work at at their own pace they can be independent and work through the instructions.The lab instructions are written directly to the students so you can just print and go.

When does the course start?

This course is a collection of lessons to use in your classroom. You can start as soon as you sign up!

Can I access these resources from my phone or tablet?

Sure! It works well on any device.​

Do I have to go in order?

Nope! You can use the lessons in any order—I always arrange them in a way I think makes sense, however since students in my classes worked at their own pace, they also tended to do the lessons in their preferred order. Within each section, the lessons progress from concrete to more abstract and from fundamental concepts to more tangential ones.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for teachers to give them hands-on resources to teach middle school science.

Will this course work for homeschoolers?

I think so, though my background is classroom teaching. It’s not designed like a plug and play course. It’s a collection of activities that will help you teach the content.

What if I am unhappy with the course?

We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.

How long do I have access to the course?

After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course - across any and all devices you own.

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Meet the author...

Hi, I'm Carolyn Balch, the author of Engaging Science Labs. I started my career as a high school physics teacher. Then I entered the field of museum education at the National Air and Space Museum (part of the Smithsonian Institution) where I wrote science education materials and ran teacher workshops. When my children were born, I left the workforce and when they were little, our family got involved with a school start up. My children grew and with them, the school; 

 

I volunteered on a weekly basis, running science experiments for my son's class and joined the faculty as the middle school science teacher when the seventh grade was added. Now I write full-time, working to publish the curriculum I developed while I was teaching. Each online course is a unit of study from a hands-on, laboratory-experience perspective.