In this activity, students investigate how sound moves through different states of matter – solid, liquid, and gas. Sound energy is a form of energy we are able to hear. We hear this because sound energy causes a change in the motion of the particles of matter. For that reason, sound energy can ONLY move through areas where matter exists – there is no sound in space.
Because particles in solids are packed closely together, sound energy can quickly pass through solids. In fact, sound energy can move through steel at a speed of 5,940 meters per second. On the other hand, sound energy moves much more slowly through gases, whose particles are spread much farther apart. Sound energy can only move through air at a speed of 346 meters per second. Liquids, whose particles are not as loosely arranged as gases nor packed as closely as solids, fall in the middle. Sound energy can move through fresh water at a speed of 1,490 meters per second.
To prepare for this activity, you will need three sealable plastic bags. Fill one bag about half full of sand or dirt, to represent solids. Fill a second bag about half full of water, and fill a third bag about half full of air. Students will listen “through” these bags to explore how sound moves through different substances.
To print four boxes per page, open the file using Adobe Acrobat Reader and choose the option "multiple pages" on the print screen.
This activity is a part of a unit designed to address the following Next Generation Science Standards:
· energy may take different forms (MS-PS3-5)
· energy can be transferred in various ways and between objects. (5-PS3-1)
· the transfer of energy can be tracked as it flows through a system (MS-PS3-3)
· make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents (4-PS3-2)
· develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials (MS-PS4-2)
Document Copyright 2014 Nicole Fuhrman