No Glasses Were Harmed in the Making of this Experiment


A big shout out to Ms. Brown’s second grade class in Round Rock, Texas. I was invited to present an experiment and interactive demonstration to the class last week about musical glasses. They have recently learned the basic science behind sound in general. Because of my recent Odyssey article and my book-in-progress about Benjamin Franklin’s glass armonica, I’ve learned a thing or two about glass including the physics phenomenon that makes those glasses sing. If I had an extra $10,000 I’d order a glass armonica just to show kids.

After ‘telling’ them the abbreviated history of the glass armonica and explaining the science behind glass, we enjoyed an interactive experiment. I had ten or so wine glasses, all different sizes. The kids quickly learned how to alter a musical note by adding or removing water.

Then we successfully tuned three glasses for the song, Mary Had a Little Lamb. The kids applauded. I took a bow.

That got them really excited about getting their hands on the glasses. So, each of the kids had an opportunity to make the glasses sing. By the end, the questions were flowing. Really good questions, I might add. They all went home and asked Mom and Dad for a wine glass. HA! That just shows that science can be really cool to a child if we encourage their hands to be as active as their brains.

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One thought on “No Glasses Were Harmed in the Making of this Experiment

  1. No doubt the kids can’t wait for your return visit! Your current book project will engage young readers, too. Hmmm. I wonder what hands-on experiment you can work in for that school visit?

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