Science experiments in the Discovery Lab


The Discovery Lab at The Gathering Place is always teaching kids and adults new things.

One experiment focuses on sound and vibration. It explains how everyday objects combine to create amazing sounds.

Science is full of surprises. Chip Lindsey, Discovery Lab’s director of education, said it’s all about knowing how to use the tools.

“Knowing how a material behaves when you put energy into it is very important, whether you want that vibration or you want to cancel that vibration,” says Lindsey.

For example, if you take a household item like a stemmed wine glass, it becomes a musical instrument.

If you dip your finger in water and rub the edge, it will make a whistling sound. The loudness of the sound depends on the amount of water in the glass.

Another example is combining aluminum rods with rosin, the material musicians use for bows and baseball players for grips.

If you balance the rod in the middle while doing the experiment, you will hear a squealing sound.

When a cardboard tube is placed over the flame of a Meker burner, the sound travels upward, creating a low humming sound.

Finally, cut one end of the straw like a bird’s beak, flatten it with your teeth, and blow into the straw to make a sound like a party blower.

“Everything in the universe has at least one sound that you want it to vibrate. I have,” Lindsey said.



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