Scientists in Schools

The sounds of science

Download Showcase
(PDF, 0.61MB)

  • Ann Tucker, Martins Creek Public School, Martins Creek, NSW
  • Julio Braslavsky, CSIRO Energy Technology
A serendipitous visit during music class shaped the direction of the partnership at Martins Creek Public School. A salsa band member, Julio combined his hobby and profession to allow students to examine the science of music.

With only eight students in the school, Ann and Julio – with a little help from the resource links on the Scientists in Schools website – involved them all in their partnership activities. Combining music and science, addressed curriculum across both subjects with a few fun activities.

Julio played guitar each visit, providing a recurring theme, as the students discussed the physics of sound waves, pitch and volume. Hands-on activities allowed the students to create their own musical science moments, while examining these scientific principles.

Learning the physics of music

Making music with a glass

They created ‘screaming balloons’ by placing different-sized metal nuts in balloons, ‘played’ wine glasses and created cardboard and elastic band guitars.

The use of open-ended questions and everyday objects tickled students’ curiosity for music and science alike, “I really liked learning about sound and vibrations. I liked the songs too. My favourite experiment was running my finger round the top of a wet wine glass in a swirl to make that special sound.”