Sound Wave Symphony
A lesson in curiosity and connection
By Amy Lieuwen, Summer Environmental Education Coordinator (A Rocha Northern BC)
August 28, 2023
I never imagined that in the summer of 2023, I’d be sitting on a classroom floor surrounded by 6 children screaming at a bowl of rice, but life is unpredictable. Even less so would I have imagined this an educational and worthwhile task.
Houston’s July nature camp was built around the theme: ‘using our 5 senses to explore nature’. This combination of sensory-seeking activities and outdoor play proved to be an enjoyable time for all involved. This particular picture was taken on “Sound” day, and we were working together to visualize sound waves. In theory, plastic wrap clung tightly to a bowl with small grains of something on top of it would be a great soundwave visualizer. In practice, of course the campers would scream at the top of their lungs to see the biggest movement, and the staff in the office next door would just have to forgive me.
Children expressing themselves through their learning is one of the most valuable things an educator can witness. I realized this as their eyes lit up when the rice started to wiggle around the plate and they asked to experiment with new sounds; when they asked for more lemon juice so they could try again in that one spot on the tongue where they couldn’t quite taste it; and when a back-up craft became a self-guided art piece on how our favourite animals might see. When children are immersed in something they don’t understand, their curiosity drives them to learn more.
When this learning focuses on the natural world, curiosity often becomes amazement and drives connection to the place these young people call their homes. As I get ready to leave my childhood home and establish a new one, I hope to use my curiosity about this new place to learn and connect to it as well. Heading off to college with not only new experience in the field, but new knowledge to use in my day-to-day life is a blessing and a comfort that I can hold close when life gets chaotic.