Saturday, February 19, 2011

How Does Sound Travel?

Sound Travels in Waves 

A sound wave is a vibration that moves through matter. It spreads out in all directions (think of dropping a pebble into a puddle of water and watching the ripples it makes). 


Sound waves travel back and forth. Here are 3 ways to illustrate this back and forth motion for children. 

Using a Slinky Toy

Stretch out the Slinky on a smooth floor
Have someone hold one end.
Holding the other end, give it a heavy push toward the other person.
The coils bunch up together then spread out. Sound waves travel like that too.

Using a Rope

Tie one end of a rope on a post or door handle.
Hold the other end tightly.
Shake your hand to make the wave.

Using Dominoes

clipart by

Have dominoes represent tiny particles of matter called molecules.
Line up the dominoes (molecules) approximately 2 cm. apart.
Push the first domino into the second domino.
Watch all the dominoes fall over.
Sound energy is transferred from one domino (molecule) to another as they fall.


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