Elisa Peters, 12, was screaming at the top of her lungs while her 10-year-old brother, Christopher, blew a whistle.
98 dB still.
The siblings shrugged and gave up.
“It was fun to be load and nobody said stop,” Christopher said. “But it hurts my ears.”
The ETHOS Science Center was full of kids experimenting with sound and music Thursday night. The Sneak Peek Science events are held monthly and focus on a different theme each time. For sound, exhibits were set up focusing on music and how sound travels.
In the next room, Elkhart Central High School senior Xavier Holmes played with a theremin, an instrument that uses antennas and electric signals to create a sound. As Xavier moved his right hand closer to the vertical antenna, the sound had a higher pitch. As he moved his left hand closer to the horizontal antenna, the sound became quieter. He was experimenting with how to turn the sound into music and eventually was able to play Hot Cross Buns by the end of the night.
In the computer lab, kids were able to see how sound waves travel by changing settings on a program that showed the waves moving through obstacles. In another room, kids pulled string tight between two plastic cups and talked to each other and used Slinkies to see how sound moves. And in yet another, kids used percussion mallets covered in different materials on drums, xylophones, cymbals and a cowbell to make music. Each mallet would produce different noises on the same instrument.
Reid Sollars used drumsticks on a snare drum while his brother, Brayden, used a mallet covered in felt on a cowbell. Their sister, Mia, laughed and started hitting the cymbal with another felt-covered mallet. Cindi Sollars, mother of the trio, smiled as she watched from a few feet away.
Other exhibits included using two straws to create a whistle, hitting beakers full of varying amounts of water and noticing the difference in sound and listening to a keyboard player performing songs to see how sound can affect a person’s mood.
Among all of the sound exhibits, there were other displays for kids to enjoy. Animal lovers got to see a bearded dragon, a snake and turtles. There were also microscopes and slides, a marble roller coaster made out of foam tubes, a machine that kids could bike on to see how many lightbulbs they could light up and more.
The next Sneak Peek Science event will be water-themed. The event is $1 cash at the door and is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 18. ETHOS Science Center is located at 2521 Industrial Parkway, Elkhart.