Tuning Fork Classroom Demonstration: Sound Vibrations
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Tuning Fork Classroom Demonstration: Sound Vibrations

Instructor: Hi class, what comes to mind when you hear the word “sound”? Girl 1: Sound is energy. Girl 2: Sound is waves. Boy: Sound is music. Instructor: Great, those are all good examples of sound. So, what is sound exactly? Sound is energy, like light or electricity. Sound is made when objects vibrate. Sound vibrations travel in waves by pushing air molecules together. Vibrations can be powerful. The stronger the vibrations, the louder the
sound. And sound is measured in decibels. Now, I’d like one volunteer to help me with this experiment with a ping-pong ball and a string and a tuning fork. You, right there. So, come up to the front. And we’ll have you hold this ping-pong ball with your right hand, and put your arm out, far, here. And then, you’ll see this is the tuning fork, and when I apply mechanical energy, you can see the vibrations. And then, when I hit it harder, the stronger the vibrations, the more the ping-pong ball moves. And that is the energy being transferred from the tuning fork to the ball. The stronger the vibrations, the louder the sound. Thank you, now have a seat. Now with this experiment you can see the stronger the vibrations, the louder the sound. Announcer: This demonstration was brought to you by It’s a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing.® a public education campaign of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health. The Noisy Planet program is designed to increase awareness among children ages 8 to 12, their parents, teachers, and others about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. Noise-induced hearing loss can build over time and is permanent, but it can be prevented. Noisy Planet reminds you to lower the volume, move away from the noise, and wear hearing protectors, such as earplugs or earmuffs. For free resources, including educational tips and tools for parents and teachers, as well as pop quizzes and fun, educational games for preteens, please visit www.noisyplanet.nidcd.nih.gov, or email us at [email protected]

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