The sound of running water can evoke thirst or make for a relaxing environment. Physicists have recently figured out what causes the burbling of this alluring sound. Get your students thinking critically about this everyday phenomenon and explore possible variables behind it. Then have them read about a recent scientific study that explains the physical science principles behind the burbling water.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Here’s the physics of why ducklings swim in a row behind their mother,” which details how baby ducks save energy by surfing their mom’s waves. A version of the article, “Why baby ducks swim in a line,” appears in the November 20, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “Beets bleed red but a chemistry tweak can create a blue hue,” which explores how scientists altered the molecular structure of a pigment molecule from beets. A version of the story, “Beets bleed red, but chemists turn it blue,” can be found in the May 9 & May 23, 2020 issue of Science News.
Students will watch a NASA video about the electromagnetic spectrum to learn about properties of the various types of radiation. Then, students will explore and discuss technologies that use specific types of electromagnetic radiation.
Students will use decibel meters to understand how the volume of a sound changes as it travels away from a source. Concepts covered include sound waves, the inverse square law, absorption and reflection. The activity also asks students to consider how the characteristics of a space affect the sound.