Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Free Science Classes

Life-size orca painted by Allison Gravis and Lucy Carpenter, AmeriCorps members at PTMSC.

Allison, my coblogger at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC) blog, talks about the Free Science Classes that we're teaching the next two months at the PTMSC. The two classes are called Orca Communication and Sound Underwater. Lately I've been teaching the Sound Underwater class and realizing just how much kids love to scream when asked to make the loudest sound they can. This all comes back to sound measurement of course, using a decibel meter, and the kids have a blast imitating a pressure wave and identifying sounds from hydrophone recordings. Today was super windy, with a side of white caps, and we were able to hear the pilings squeak on the PTMSC hydrophone.

Teaching these classes is a lot of fun for me as well. Just the other day, a student announced, "I've been here before, and it's boring!" Then, about fifteen minutes into the Sound Underwater class, while we were creating a pressure wave, the same student said, "This is so much fun!" It's always good to see the tables turn like that.

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