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CONTRIBUTORS


CONTRIBUTORS


Ismedia literacy enough? Thismonth, regular


Education Today contributor FELICIA JACKSON, Chair of the Learn2think


Foundation, calls for a newapproach to helping children


issues fac learn abo


world.


ing thei ut the


r


Sound is an important topic in science, and there are plenty of to explore it using resources you might have at home, in the nery cupboard, or in the recycling box.


statio ways


Exp oring howsound travels


Teaching children to think for themselves is something our society needs. This is not simply something which is part of a curriculum, but should be the overarching goal of our educational system. The world our children face is beyond our understanding – in twenty years much of what they’ve learned will be out of date or transformed beyond recognition.


We need to equip them with different skills but children’s awareness of what matters in life is remarkable. As part of the marking of this year’s Tolerance Day, Learn2Think has just awarded prizes in its Young Journalist Award competition, in partnership with the Guardian Foundation and The Week Junior. The calibre of entries was extraordinary, especially coming from children so young.


There were of course entries on the environment, bullying, recycling, electric cars and fast fashion, but there were also entries on the relative notion of poverty, the importance of dialogue and protest in achieving piece, blending society to address the challenge of dementia. One child’s piece on sexism spoke as clearly as national newspaper leaders on its insidious nature. Young children have awareness and passion and their voices need to be developed. Author Ellen Galinsky explains the importance of teaching children critical thinking skills: 'A child’s natural curiosity helps lay the foundation for critical thinking. Critical thinking requires us to take in information, analyse it and make judgements about it, and that type of active engagement requires imagination and inquisitiveness.’ These come naturally to children and should be encouraged.


Critical thinking clearly fosters resilience, empathy, flexibility of thinking and self confidence. Such skills offer the best immunisation against the main demons of social media: misinformation, bullying and indoctrination. There has certainly been much debate this year about media literacy and how to help children understand what they face, to support them in learning how to assess, analyse, evaluate and create information. Our experience with the competition and some of the conversations that arose from the entries led us ns however.


That being the ca to ask some questio


se, we are looking to run some focus groups with


children between 7 and 13 years old, the time when the social and emotional development of children is at its stronger. These will explore media consumption and understanding, as well as more complex issues relating to media exposure, such as uses and gratifications offered by new media, information overload, the main concerns related to internet safety and social media exposure (bullying, hate speech, peer pressure, stigma etc.) Only by understanding this web of complex issues can we really hope to define the issue that we need to address. For any reader prepared to allow the Foundation to run a focus group at your school, please email info@learn2think.org.uk and let’s get the conversation started.


If you missed out on the free lesson plans, books and other materials on religious tolerance and diversity, as well as understanding the nature of belief and knowledge with the Truth Detectives, you can still sign up at www.toleranceday.org and use them any time of year.


18 www.education-today.co.uk.co.uk www View Viewing sound wavesing soundwaves


A metal slinky stretched out between two people can be used to show longitudinal waves by one person quickly pushing forward with their hands, sending the wave along the slinky.


Another way to show that sound travels through vibrations is to use a tuning fork, possibly borrowed from the music department. Firstly, hit the tuning fork off a cork block then hold it really close to the ear. Can you hear the sound? Compare different tuning forks - they produce different frequencies! Place the vibrating fork against the nose to feel the vibrations instead. Hit it hard off a block of cork then quickly place the ends of the fork into a cup of water. The water will vibrate and splash, showing the vibration of particles passing energy to the particles nearby.


A metal slinky stretched out between two people can be used to show longitudinal waves by one person quickly pushing forward with their hands, sending the wave along the slinky. Another way to show that sound travels through vibrations is to use a tuning fork, possibly borrowed from the music department. Firstly, hit the tuning fork off a cork block then hold it really close to the ear. Can you hear the sound? Compare different tuning forks - they produce different frequencies! Place the vibrating fork against the nose to feel the vibrations instead. Hit it hard off a block of cork then quickly place the ends of the fork into a cup of water. The water will vibrate and splash, showing the vibration of particles passing energy to the particles nearby.


December 2017 2017 Exploring how sound travelsl


For this experiment take a wire coat hanger and turn it upside down. Tie string to both ends so the hook dangles underneath when held up. Hold one string to each ear and bash the coat hanger on different surfaces. Different sounds will be heard depending on the material the coat hanger hits.


and h fi sou


Or why not place a slinky on the table so it is vertically stacked. Tie string to the top layer of the metal slinky, one on each side. Now hold one string to each ear and drop the slinky – a popular sci nd effect will be heard! Try bouncing the slinky up and down, itting it on the floor. If this is tricky, instead of string, get a large plastic cup and make a hole in its side. Thread through a few turns of the slinky into the cup and secure will be loud enough when dropped that it the ear.


For this experiment take a wire coat hanger and turn it upside down. Tie string to both ends so the hook dangles underneath when held up. Hold one string to each ear and bash the coat hanger on different surfaces. Different sounds will be heard depending on the material the coat hanger hits. Or why not place a slinky on the table so it is vertically stacked. Tie string to the top layer of the metal slinky, one on each side. Now hold one string to each ear and drop the slinky – a popular sci fi sound effect will be heard! Try bouncing the slinky up and down, and hitting it on the floor. If this is tricky, instead of string, get a large plastic cup and make a hole in its side. Thread through a few turns of the slinky into the cup and secure it with sticky tape. This will be loud enough when dropped that it won’t need to be held to the ear.


won’t need to be held to it with sticky tape. This


An old-fashioned telephone can be made using washed-up yogurt pots or plastic cups.Make a very small hole in the bottom of each pot or cup, and thread through thick string, joining the cups. Tie it in a large enough knot that the string doesn’t pull out of the cup. Try not to stick it down, as it needs to vibrate in order to transmit sound. Now pull the cups apart, and have one person listen to a cup, and the other person speak into the cup. This used to be done with old food tins, but there are health and safety issues with sharp edges, so washed plastic


Is sound transferred better through so In pairs, get a person to place one ear agai another person to tap on the table. Can th


loud? Compare this with liquids. Fill a two-litre bottle with water. One person places an ear against the bottle, the other person taps the bottle with the same force as they tapped the table. How does this sound? Repeat this but this time use an inflated balloon to demonstrate a gas under the same conditions as the liquid.


Is sound transferred better through solids, liquids or gases? In pairs, get a person to place one ear against the table. Get another person to tap on the table. Can they hear the sound? Is it loud? Compare this with liquids. Fill a two-litre bottle with water. One person places an ear against the bottle, the other person taps the bottle with the same force as they tapped the table. How does this sound? Repeat this but this time use an inflated balloon to demonstrate a gas under the same conditions as the liquid.


lids, liquids or gases? is much safer.


ey hear the sound? Is it nst the table. Get


An old-fashioned telephone can be made using washed-up yogurt pots or plastic cups. Make a very small hole in the bottom of each pot or cup, and thread through thick string, joining the cups. Tie it in a large enough knot that the string doesn’t pull out of the cup. Try not to stick it down, as it needs to vibrate in order to transmit sound. Now pull the cups apart, and have one person listen to a cup, and the other person speak into the cup. This used to be done with old food tins, but there are health and safety issues with sharp edges, so washed plastic is much safer.


Sound is an important topic in science, and there are plenty of ways to explore it using resources you might have at home, in the stationery cupboard, or in the recycling box.


Exp oring sound! Exploring sound!l


This month, in her regular series looking at doing science on a shoestring in the classroom, Education Today contributor KIRSTY BERTENSHAW investigates sound.


Thismonth, in her


regular series looking at doing science on a shoestring in the


classroom, Education Today contributor RT


KIRSTY BERTENSHAW investigates sound.


AW


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