Welcome to our brand new 2017 Science tab on our school website. The Science team for this year consists of a number of teachers from each grade level. Our aim is to excite children and parents in the wonderful world of Science.


Science at NLPS is currently investigated through our inquiry units. We are focused on the collaboration between students, parents and teachers to raise the profile of science awareness, understanding and application across the school.


Each fortnight our school’s newsletter will include a simple science experiment that can be conducted at home. Each term the focus will be on one particular area. We hope that as parents and children complete and discuss these experiments this will spark the curiosity of the children and encourage them to explore the world they live in.

Welcome to Home Science 2017

Each week, the Newport Science team will post a simple experiement that can be easily completed at home with little equipment.

The idea of these experiments is to encourage discussion and discovery of how and why something is happening.

Our first set of experiements is looking at sound.

Enjoy and we look forward to hearing your feedback.

Warren, Tammi, Diana & James

The Science Team


Sounds are all around us. We are used to hearing the sounds of other voices, a dogs bark or the hum of the electronic devices. In fact, sounds are so much a part of our daily life that a sudden total silence can be frightening.


Everyone knows how to create sound. Strike one hand against the other and you’ll cause the sound to be made.


When two objects come together hard and fats to create a sound, they cause the air to move or vibrate – a result of the force of their coming together. This vibration of air cause little waves of sound to travel out in all directions.


Some of those sound waves or vibration reach your ear. They cause your eardrum to vibrate or move back and forth slightly. This movement causes tiny bones inside your ear to pick up that vibration and relay it though the tiny tube of liquid to the hearing or auditory nerves. These nerves communicate sound to your brain and you hear.


(E. Richard Churchill)


Playing a Tune with a Glass


We found you can’t tune a fork, but who said anything about tuning a glass?


You need:

8 drinking glasses or glass bottles

A pencil



Line up the eight drinking glasses or glass bottles in a row on the kitchen counter (Plastic bottles won’t work this time).  It does not matter if the glasses are all the same size or not.  If they are, thought, its quicker to tune them.

Fill the glasses partly full of water, so that they look pretty much like those in the drawing.

As you see, each glass has a little less water in it than the one to its left.

Now use the pencil to gently but firmly strike the side of each glass.



You will hear a different tone from each of the glasses.  The more water there is in a glass, the lower the tone that it makes.

Call the first glass on your left Do, which is the first note of the musical scale.  Strike the next glass.  If its tone is the next step up the scale, Re, move on.  If not, either add a bit of water or pour some out until that glass’s tone is one step up from the first.

Keep on in this manner until you have tuned the eight glasses to play a musical scale.



We know that vibrations cause sound.  Striking the side of a glass causes it to vibrate.  The speed of the
vibration depends upon how much glass and water there are to set in motion.  The more water, the slower the vibrations and the deeper the tone.



Set up eight glasses that are different in size.  The more variety, the better.  Keep in mind that it is the total amount of water that determines the tone of the glass.  Now tune these eight glasses to play a musical scale by adding or pouring out water until each tone is one step above the other to its left.






Better Hearing Through Wood, Part 2


Did you ever try to hear through a yardstick? Now’s the time!




A ticking clock

A yardstick




A ticking alarm clock or wristwatch is perfect for this experiment.  If you don’t have one, then find some other appliance in the house that hums or makes a mechanical sound that isn’t very loud.


Hold the yardstick so that one end touches the clock or other appliance and the other end presses against your ear, like this:


If you don’t have a yardstick, a ruler will work.  So will a wooden dowel rod.

Be sure to press the end of the yardstick against the outside of your ear so you don’t hurt yourself.


The sound of the clock is much louder now than when you listen to it without the yardstick.  You can check this by using the yardstick to listen to other appliances around the house.



The wooden yardstick carries sound waves better than air.  Therefore, you hear the clock’s sounds more loudly through the yardstick than when you listen normally.




WEEK 3 - Better Hearing Through Wood, Part 1


Do you know how to make even the lightest taps of your finger sound loud?




A wooden table or desktop




Sit at the table or desk.

Place your ear flat on top like this:


Tap your finger on the surface of the table about a foot away from your ear.  Tap hard.  Then tap softly.




The sound of your tapping finger is much louder than when you listen to the same tapping with your head not touching the table.  Check right now to be sure this is true.




Sound waves don’t travel only through air.  They also travel through solids.  Many solids—such as wood—carry sound waves better than air.  That’s why your tapping finger sounds louder when you hear it through wood than through air.








Here’s you chance to make all the noise you want and do it in the name of science.


You need:

A piece of cellophane 2 x 2 inches (5cm x 5cm)




Stretch the piece of cellophane tightly between the thumb and index finger of both hands.


Place your hands directly in front of  your face so the cellophane is right in front of your lips.  The setup looks like this:




Blow hard and fast right at the edge of the stretched piece of cellophane.  Keep your lips close together so you send a thin stream of air right at the cellophane’s edge.






When the jet of air hits the edge of the cellophane, you will create the greatest, most
terrible sound you’ve ever heard!  If you don’t get a terrible sound, adjust the distance
between the cellophane and your lips until the air hits it just right.






The rapidly moving air from your lips causes the edge of the cellophane to vibrate quickly.  Because the cellophane is extremely thin, the jet of air makes these vibrations extremely fast.  The faster something vibrates, the higher the tone it creates.




Two sheets of notebook or regular typing paper make a great noisemaker.

You need:

2 sheets of notebook or typing paper


Hold the two sheets of paper in front of you.  Make sure the bottom sheet sticks out toward you about a 1/2 inch (12.5mm) past the top paper.  They should look like this: 

Now blow directly toward the two sheets at the point shown by the arrow.


The two papers will make a strange, noisy sound.

If you don't get some sort of sound from the papers move your mouth closer and blow again.  When you blow between the two sheets of paper, they vibrate rapidly back and forth.

If you still haven't created a great sound, adjust the way you hold the papers.  Move your fingers closer to your mouth or farther back.  Blow harder or less hard.  Eventually you'll find the right combination.

Don't blow until you get dizzy.  Blow, then rest a few seconds.


When the papers flutter back and forth, their vibration creates sound waves that your ear picks up.

If you have conducted the experiment and would like to leave any comments or suggestion, please email the Science Team at