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  • STEM at Home

    Discover science and connect to the natural world while staying safe and healthy at home!

    Check out our virtual programming schedule and browse through our list of resources, activities, crafts, videos, and more to help continue to bring science into your world.

  • Field Trip

    More than 250 interactive science, technology, energy and health exhibits await students of all ages.  We’re experts at making sure that bringing your group to the Museum is smooth sailing all the way. Discounted admission for groups of 20 or more!

  • ScienceWorks

    Your students become scientists during our ScienceWorks Labs. All programs align with National Science Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and Common Core State Standards. Labs are available year-round for preschool to middle school students and are led by an instructor.

  • Outreach

    Our Outreach staff brings the Museum to you—at schools, libraries, community centers, and festivals—by delivering hands-on programming customized to your schedule and curriculum interests.

  • Distance Learning

    Experience live, interactive Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum programs right in your classroom! Our educators use videoconferencing technology to share science and math activities with your students, engaging them in a dynamic, hands-on learning experience.

  • Scouts

    The best place for Scouts to explore STEAM! 

  • Summer Camp

    Through the Unity in Learning partnership, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Leslie Science & Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum now offer families incredible day camps at two fantastic locations in Ann Arbor and Belleville.

  • Birthday Parties

    What do you get when you mix one part science, one part fun, and one part celebration? A birthday party at the Museum! Experience a birthday full of discovery by exploring more than 250 exhibits and experimenting with a hands-on activity. Celebrate in a unique and interactive environment to make your special day really special!

  • Evening Workshops

    Want to dive deeply into specific topics? Join us for an Evening Workshop! Explore a variety of science concepts through hands-on activities, interactive demos, and experiments in a small group setting. Topics vary from stop-motion animation to computer programming to engineering – there’s sure to be something that piques your interest!

Back to Programs

WORKSHOP Sound Science

Outreach Workshop: Sound Science

Explore the physics of sound as we experiment with waves and vibration and discover how sound travels through different substances.

Fees are determined by distance from the Museum:

  • Within 25 miles: $340
  • 26-50 miles: $370
  • 51+ miles: $370 + $.58 per mile
  • Each additional hour: $125

Register today!

Michigan K-12 Science Standards


Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.


Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.


Develop a model of waves to describe patterns in terms of amplitude and wavelength and that waves can cause objects to move.


Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

Sounds Science Pre-visit Vocabulary

Absorption: To take in and make part of a whole.

Energy: Ability to change the temperature, motion, or makeup of an object.

Gas: A state of matter that fills the area it is in and whose molecules are spread apart.

Larynx: Also known as the voice box: 8 rings of cartilage that wrap around the top of the trachea, or windpipe.

Liquid: A state of matter that fills the container it is placed in and whose molecules are an intermediate distance apart.

Molecule: The smallest particle of any object that retains the signature of the object.

Pitch: The characteristic of sound that depends on the frequency of the sound waves. A short stick when struck will have a higher pitch, while a longer stick when struck will have a lower pitch.

Resonance: A sound that continues after it is made.

Solid: A state of matter made up of very closely packed atoms.

Trachea: The tube that connects your lungs to your mouth, also known as the windpipe.

Vibration: Movement in opposite directions.

Sounds Science Post-visit Activity

Post-visit activities provide your students with an opportunity to review workshop-presented concepts and introduce related subjects. Below you will find a classroom extension activity and a list of suggested resources for further exploration. We hope that you enjoyed our Outreach Hands-On Workshop and we look forward to visiting your students again!

Hands-on Activity: How Fast Does Sound Travel?


  • A drumstick or pole (something to hit the object with)
  • A large outdoor space


  1. Bring the class, large drum (or noise-maker) and stick outside on playground or field.
  2. Teacher or student volunteer should move about the length of a football field away 100-120 yards with the noise maker of choice.
  3. Strike the object. Make your movement dramatic to ensure that the group is seeing your movement AND hearing the vibration of the noise maker.
  4. Students should write down observations then share.
  5. Ask the following questions: would altitude affect the speed of sound? Would sound travel differently in day and night? Would sound travel change on a cold or hot day?


The speed of sound is affected by the temperature and density of air. Sound travels faster and is heard more clearly in dense and colder air because it contains more molecules. Higher altitudes have thinner air and fewer molecules per cubic centimeter.

Ask the students about their past experiences with the sound/sight phenomenon. What happens at a large sporting event (I think of watching a player hit and baseball then hearing the sound of bat on ball contact after the ball is in the air) or when a plane flies overhead?

Suggested Resources


Brown, Robert J. 333 Science Tricks and Experiments. TAB Books McGraw Hill Inc., PA. 1984.
Brown, Robert J. 333 More Science Tricks and Experiments. TAB Books McGraw Hill Inc., PA. 1984.
Churchill, E. Richard. Amazing Science Experiments with Everyday Materials. Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. New York: NY. 1991.
Glover, David. Young Discoverers: Sound and Light. Kingfisher Books. New York: NY. 1993.
Kaner, Etta. Sound Science. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company. New York: NY. 1991.
Lowery, Lawerence F. The Everyday Science Sourcebook. Dale Seymour Publications. CA. 1985.
Popelka, Susan. Super Science with Simple Stuff. Dale Seymour Publications. CA. 1997.
Primarily Physics: Investigations in Sound, Light and Heat Energy Grades K–3. AIMS Education Foundation. 1994.
Science Made Simple Grades 1–6. Frank Schaffer Productions, CA. 1997.
VanCleave, Janice. Physics for Every Kid. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York: NY. 1991.

WORKSHOP Sound Science


Library, School

50 minutes

K-2nd, 3-5th


Physical Sciences

Still not sure we have the experience you want?

Visit unityinlearning.org to open a gateway to hands-on discovery, exploration of the natural world, and experiences that take flight.

Through the Unity in Learning partnership with the Ann Arbor Hands-On MuseumLeslie Science and Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum we provide over 100 different  programs at our facilities, on site at your location, or through interactive video conferencing.