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Virtual Science Fair

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Sound Map

Have science fun as a family! Complete activities with parental supervision.

  • A place to sit undisturbed, indoors and/or outdoors
  • Paper
  • Something sturdy to write on (clipboard, notebook, etc)
  • Pencil
  • Optional: Markers or crayons
  1. Find a safe spot to sit quietly and undisturbed for ten minutes. It can be indoors or outdoors.
  2. On your paper draw an “X” in the middle. This represents you, from a bird’s eye view.
  3. Now close your eyes and listen.
  4. For every sound you hear, place a mark on your sound map. It can be a dot, a word, or a small sketch representing the source of the sound.
  5. Whether the sound is close-by and behind you, or far away and to the left, or any direction, make sure to mark it in relation to you and the other marks on your sound map.
  6. How many different sounds can you hear? Does your chosen location have a many different kinds of sounds (high diversity) or only a few (low diversity)? Is it easier to listen indoors or outdoors? How many of the sounds are made by humans, pets, machines, or nature?
  7. Be sure to take a picture or video or even share your sound maps in the Facebook comments on the Buffalo Museum of Science or Tifft Nature Preserve pages!

What’s it all about?

Humans are very dependent on our sense of sight. By using only our sense of hearing, we may notice different things, or familiar things in a new way. Every environment has different sound sources and those sounds may sound differently depending on the objects around them.

Try It!
  • Create a sound map for different locations and/or at the same location but different times of the day.
  • Try creating a sound map at the same time as a partner. Sit facing the same direction, approximately ten feet from each other. Stay quiet and do not share what you have heard, UNTIL the ten minutes is up. Then compare your maps. Did you hear the same things?

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