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Daily Classroom Special: Spoon Gongs

About this Daily Classroom Special: 
Science to Go
provides easy yet meaningful science activities for grades k-8. Science to Go was written by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston (TX) and former Teachers Network web mentor.

Spoon Gongs

Objectives:

Investigate sounds.
Determine effects of variables.
Compare and contrast.

Materials

Kite string or crochet thread, meter sticks, scissors, metal spoons, different pieces of metal dinnerware and serving utensils.


Procedure

  1. Have students measure and cut one meter of string per student.
  2. Demonstrate how to make a loop in the center of the string that will hold onto the handle of a spoon, yet can still be undone without tangling.
  3. Gently wrap one end of the string around the last joint of your left index finger, and the other one around your right (only 2-3 wraps around).
  4. Insert the tips of your index fingers in your ears, bend over, and allow the spoon to swing gently. Bump the spoon against a table or desk edge. You should hear a deep gonging sound.
  5. Experiment with different variables (metal type, weight, different utensils, different handle types, etc.)
  6. Have students report their findings; comparing and contrasting effects of the variables.

Related Web Sites

The Soundry: History and physics of sound, parts of the ear, interactive sound labs.
NOVA Online/ Faster Than Sound: Sonic boom explained, history of land, air and speed records, teachers' guide.
Wild Sanctuary Sound Safaris: Sound files of animals from around the world to download and listen to. Good photos, too.
VI Online: Sound FX Page: Tons of wav. files of common sounds and sound effects. (Has a link to company homepage with classifieds that might require supervision.)

 

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