students on the sofa

Exploring Sound: An Insightful Journey into a year 7/8 science class

Nestled within the creative spaces of Atelier 21, the science classroom is more than just a space for experimentation — it’s a testament to the school’s commitment to fostering a holistic learning environment. Designed with care and attention to detail, it serves as a canvas for student exploration, a sanctuary where the school’s core values are palpable in every corner.

As the latest Year 7/8 science session began, students settled in quickly, their enthusiasm evident as they embarked on a journey into the captivating world of sound. With a brief reflection on previous lessons and a glimpse into the lesson’s agenda, they embraced the ethos of independent inquiry and respectful engagement that defines Atelier 21.

In the serene atmosphere of the classroom, students eagerly immersed themselves in the task at hand. Armed with images, scissors and glue, they embarked on a journey into the nuances of sound, igniting spirited discussions as they sorted sounds based on perceived loudness. Each contribution was met with appreciation, fostering an environment where ideas flowed freely and curiosity thrived. As students compared their hypotheses with actual decibel ratings, they uncovered newfound insights into the complexities of sound perception.

Recently, Atelier 21 received a gift of 15 Microbit computer kits. Designed to bring computing to life and inspire creativity through coding, these kits opened doors for students to explore the world of programming. Working in pairs, students eagerly set about calibrating their new machines, transforming their Microbits into sophisticated sound sensors.

An air of excitement filled the room as students delved into the possibilities. Some shared their expertise, while others eagerly embraced the opportunity to develop new skills. As they explored the concept of sound intensity, students made startling discoveries about the potential dangers of prolonged exposure to loud noises and the impact of background noise on learning.

Encouraged to roam freely throughout the school, students moved with determination, guided by the culture of trust fostered within the Atelier 21 community. Armed with their Microbit computers, they embarked on a mission to map the school’s acoustic landscape, approaching their task with careful consideration and thoughtful inquiry.

Given the freedom to choose their preferred method of representation, students approached the task with creativity and ingenuity. Some opted for precision, meticulously recording their findings numerically, while others embraced colour and vibrancy, crafting maps that captured the essence of the school’s auditory tapestry.

As they pondered the factors influencing sound levels across different areas of the school, students reflected on the dynamic nature of their learning environment. Gathered around their maps, they exchanged insights with quiet enthusiasm, piecing together the puzzle of sound with a sense of collective achievement.

With the lesson drawing to a close, students reflected on their journey with satisfaction. Their exploration of sound was not just an isolated lesson but a stepping stone in a broader exploration of scientific concepts. Looking ahead to future lessons, they eagerly anticipated delving into the properties of materials to dampen sound, laying the groundwork for practical applications in soundproofing.

This innovative approach to learning resonates across disciplines, as students explore sound from various perspectives in subjects like Design. The integration of real-world applications underscores Atelier 21’s commitment to holistic education, aligning seamlessly with the principles of the International Baccalaureate’s Middle Years Programme (MYP).

As students departed for their next lessons, they carried with them a newfound appreciation for the impact of sound on their surroundings. Mindful of the implications for their hearing, physical and mental health, and more they embraced the responsibility to apply their knowledge thoughtfully, embodying the spirit of inquiry and engagement that defines Atelier 21.