Teacher's Guide for ODYSSEYTM Shhhhhh!: The Science of Sound
"The Power of Sound," pg. 6
Sound vibrations vary in their frequency (hertz) and intensity (decibels). Loud sounds can damage hearing, so it's a good idea to turn down the volume.
Measurement, Decision Making
"Block That Noise" (Activity to Discover), pg. 10
Experiment with blocking sounds using barriers at varying distances.
Following Directions, Drawing Conclusions
"Now H.E.A.R. This! Music to Your Ears," pg. 12
H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education & Awareness for Rockers) is spreading the word: Loud music can rob you of your hearing. The organization suggests ways you can protect your ears and still enjoy the music you love.
Cause and Effect, Applications
"Acoustical Architecture: Building the Best Concert Halls," pg. 15
Architects and acoustical engineers design concert halls to enhance the interaction of the audience with the musicians. Achieving acoustical balance is both a science and an art.
Technological Design, Inductive Reasoning
"Get Ready For Anti-noise!," pg. 18
One high-tech solution to noise pollution is the generation of an anti-noise signal -- similar in frequency and amplitude to an unwanted noise, but out of phase with it. When anti-noise meets noise, they cancel out.
Making Inferences, Applications
"Phweeps, Bweeps, Bizzes, & Beeps," pg. 20
Electronic sounds provide alerts and feedback. They can even assist learning. However, too much electronic noise can be annoying, even harmful. A contest challenges poets to use electronic sounds in verse.
Cause and Effect, Applications
"Sleepless at Noisy U.," pg. 22
Noise during sleep endangers health, diminishes work performance, and threatens relationships with family and friends.
Cause and Effect, Deductive Reasoning
"Too Noisy for Whales," pg. 24
Could the noise of sonar or ships explain the mass beaching of whales? Sidebars (pgs. 26 and 27) examine the effects of noise on land animals and porpoises.
Hypothesis Testing, Evaluation
"When Noise Hurts: Hyperacusis," pg. 28
Hyperacusis sufferers find everyday noise unbearable. Retraining the brain to accept tolerable levels of sound can alleviate symptoms. A sidebar (pg. 29) explains a related disorder, tinnitus.
Vocabulary, Deductive Reasoning
"Sangeeta's Silent World," pg. 30
This is the true story of a young woman's silent journey, from being diagnosed as profoundly deaf in infancy to her life today as a happy wife and mother.
Case Study Analysis, Procedural Analysis
"In a Quiet Cube" (Brain Strain), pg. 33
How can Jill see farther than six feet away when she is trapped in a six-foot cube? A flashlight and some illuminated thinking are all you need to solve this puzzle.
"Sound and Survival: Creating the Cacophony of Computer Games," pg. 34
We locate sounds using three clues: time delay, amplitude, and the pinna (filtering) effect. Software developers use mathematical algorithms to mimic these cues and produce realistic gaming environments.
Process Analysis, Applications
"Finally! An Ice Cream That Sounds Good!," pg. 39
Thermoacoustic cooling offers an alternative to traditional methods of refrigeration.
Technological Innovation, Applications
"Two Eclipses and a Marathon!" (What's Up and Planet Watch), pg. 42
In this month of the vernal equinox, look for a crescent moon between Mars and the Pleiades. Observers in Africa, Europe, and Asia can see a penumbral lunar eclipse and a total solar eclipse. With your binoculars or a telescope, zoom in on deep sky objects and learn about the Messier Catalog (pg. 44).
Observation, Following Directions
Think Tank: (Discussion Starters to Use Before Reading the Magazine):
What is sound? How do we hear it? Make a list of what you know (or think you know) about sound. Then make a list of the facts you need to gather in order to answer those questions correctly and completely.
How do nonhuman animals hear? Which other animals hear better than humans? How do those animals use their auditory talents? How might our lives be different if we could enhance our hearing to match that of bats, dolphins, or dogs?
Classroom "Syzygy": Talk, Connect, Assess
Pg. 6 -- "The Power of Sound"
Talk It Over:
What is the difference between sound and noise? What makes some sounds desirable and others undesirable? How can the same sound be music to one person and noise to another?
Hearing loss among young people is a growing problem. Do you have any firsthand knowledge of this situation, perhaps among friends or siblings? What should young people do to protect their hearing?
Mathematics: Sound intensity is measured on the decibel (dB) scale. Reproduce the scale on a large bar graph. Label the bar with the decibels of everyday sounds, both natural and technological.
Graphic Design: Design a "Protect Your Ears" logo and use it on posters that offer advice to young people on the prevention of hearing loss. Display the posters in the school and community.
Science: Run the following experiment. Find three articles of about the same length and difficulty for students to read. Design a 10-item, true-false quiz for each article. Divide the class into three groups. Have each group read each article and complete each quiz (rotating the order of the articles) under the following conditions: (1) silence; (2) while playing a recording of nature sounds; and (3) while playing hard rock music. Compare the average quiz scores and draw conclusions.
What is sound? In what measurable ways do sounds vary? Write an informational essay to answer these questions, defining terms clearly and giving examples to support your definitions.
Pretend that you have lived your entire life in a big, noisy city. Now, for the first time, you are vacationing in the country. Write a diary entry (or a letter to a city friend) describing your reaction to your new "sound environment." Option: Reverse the situation and write about your first reaction to an urban sound environment.
Pg. 24 -- "Too Noisy for Whales"
Talk It Over:
What stories have you heard about beached whales and dolphins? Have you heard of any explanations other than sound pollution?
Why is it important to understand the reasons for whale beachings? What benefits may humans derive from their efforts to preserve and protect marine environments and organisms?
Research Project: In your library and on the Internet, find news reports and magazine articles about beached whales. How frequent are these incidents, and how many whales are involved? Have researchers discovered any reasons for beachings? What are the theories? Make a time line of beaching events and try to identify patterns.
Social Studies: Visit the University of Rhode Island's Web site, www.dosits.org/people/intro.htm. Study the five categories of ways in which people use sound in the sea. Select one of the categories for further study. Find out how people are affected by the use. Summarize your findings in a written or oral report.
Creative Writing: Write a short story about a person who works in a marine mammal rescue unit. Establish a conflict theme (such as citizens versus big business, people versus marine mammals, or people versus nature) to develop in your study. Resolve the conflict in your story's climax.
Develop a plan for reducing noise pollution in the oceans. Write and deliver a speech to persuade Congress to pass a law implementing your plan.
List and explain three ways in which noise affects land and marine animals.
Far Out!: (Moving Beyond the Magazine) "Name that Sound" Fill-in Edition
Simon & Garfunkle's Classic: __________________________________
Small-Group Project: There is a lot to see in the evening skies of March. Review the items in the "What's Up?" section and work collaboratively to write and perform as astronomy song. Play instruments if you can and sing if you dare.
Gloria Estefan's Group: _______________________________________
Community Connection: Invite an audiologist to speak to your class. Have your guest bring hearing protection devices and a model of the ear. Experiment with sound frequency and intensity.
A 1990 Mark Hunter Movie or the 1998 MARRS Hit Single: _________
Class Experiment: Have students record several common sounds, such as a vacuum cleaner running, the clicking of a ballpoint pen, or a car idling. Play the sounds to volunteers one at time and record how many they can identify correctly. Compare test subjects to determine if age, sex, or some other variable accounts for any variance in patterns of correct and incorrect responses.
1965 Movie and Julie Andrews Song: _____________________________
Large-Group Collaborative Activity: Break the class into three teams to learn more about hearing in nonhuman animals. Ask the first group to research mammals, the second to research fish, and the third to research insects. Discuss findings. The goal is to compare and contrast the hearing mechanisms and capabilities of the different animals.
Answers: 1. The Sound of Silence (the single) or Sounds of Silence (the album) 2. Miami Sound Machine 3. Pump Up the Volume 4. The Sound of Music