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Contact: Trevor Cox

Sound Science Lesson Starters Key Stage 3 & 4

Classroom resource for physics students

Show Key Stage 3/4 physics students the different effects of sound, as demonstrated in this classroom resource for secondary science, designed to be used on an interactive whiteboard.

Using high-speed camera technology, Trevor Cox professor of acoustics at the University of Salford, conducts experiments in sound. He firstly shows what happens when rubbing the rim of a glass of water is slowed down to 80 times less than normal speed. Trevor then demonstrates the sound effects of a tuning fork, a triangle, a cymbal and a guitar, as well as the impact of sound on a soap bubble, burning candles and a wine glass. Using an oscilloscope Trevor then shows the difference in frequencies produced by different octaves played on a saxophone. The 'confusaphone' shows what happens when one's left and right hearing is mixed up, and Trevor examines the effect of a sonic boom, created by a cracking whip. He finally assesses the effect of echo and the varying sounds we can create with our own bodies.

 

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Suggested follow on activites for each of the lesson starters: download

Sectioned video downloads and more resources

The above video is split into each lesson starter and can be downloaded below along with more suggested activities

Sound: Four octaves

Examine waveform patterns with this lesson starter designed for Year 7 to 11 physics students.
Different notes on a saxophone are shown to have varying wave patterns, in this secondary science classroom resource.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Sound: Hearing and the Ear - The Confusaphone

Show how sound reaches the human ear in stereo, with this brief practical experiment designed for Year 7 to 11 physics students.
Using a confusaphone, which changes how a person hears sound, this Key Stage 3/4 science classroom resource shows how sound travels through the air.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Suggested follow on activites for this lesson starter: download

Sound: Sonic Boom - Cracking the Whip

Demonstrate the speed of sound, using the crack of a whip, with this practical lesson starter for Year 7 to 11 physics.
Show Key Stage 3/4 students how cracking a whip creates a sonic boom, meaning it is travelling faster than the speed of sound, with this science classroom resource.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Suggested follow on activites for this lesson starter: download

Sound: Breaking glass with sound

A wine glass is smashed by the power of sound when the right frequency is reached, in this quick experiment aimed at Year 7 to 11 physics students.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Suggested follow on activites for this lesson starter: download

Sound: Materials - Brick and Foam

Highlight the effect of different materials on sound, with this practical lesson starter designed for Year 7 to 11 physics students.
The same musical instrument is played in two differently decorated rooms, one with brick and one with foam walls. The different sounds are examined in this Key Stage 3/4 science classroom resource.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Sound: Using Body Parts

Illustrate how different parts of the body can create different sounds, with this practical experiment targeted at Year 7 to 11 physics students.
A physicist uses various parts of the body, such as clicking his fingers, to show how sound can be formed, in this Key Stage 3/4 science classroom resource.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Sound Through a Medium: Wobbling Bubbles

This quick practical experiment showing how a bubble is affected by different sounds is designed for use as a Year 7 to 11 physics classroom resource.
This Key Stage 3/4 science test shows how a bubble vibrates at different rates when placed near a loudspeaker, which changes the sound frequency.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Suggested follow on activites for this lesson starter: download

Sound Through a Medium: Flickering Candles

Demonstrate how a flickering candle responds when exposed to a variety of sound frequencies, this quick practical experiment designed as a lesson starter for Year 7 to 11 physics.
This Key Stage 3/4 science classroom resource shows how a candle's flame reacts when placed in front of a loudspeaker, which changes the pitch of the sound.

Download video: Windows Media Quicktime

Suggested follow on activites for this lesson starter: download

License

Materials released under Creative Archive License