More on the Material
Content is weaved into short stories that are easy to understand and jargon-free. Our goal is to illustrate a process, not to teach vocabulary. Let's check out a story that might be used to form a one-day theme.
From Sound to Music
Sound is the compression and expansion of air molecules. The eardrum captures sound waves in air. Three small bones in the ear amplify the captured vibrations and send them to a spiral structure where the vibrations are sorted by how high or low pitched the sound is.
Music is the arrangement of sound into highly structured patterns in time. How loud, how high, and how fast these patterns are can all be carefully tuned. Together with different instruments, these musical elements can be used to create a rich diversity of possibilities.
Music is born from human language. Feelings such as excitement can be infused into music and emotions such as sadness can be evoked just by how a note sounds. These feelings exist because we have experienced music before. We just haven't noticed it because it's in the form of language.
The remainder of the session is then built upon this story. Activities such as speaker dissections demonstrate concepts through experience. Discussions on the relationship between music and language are prompted, allowing students to pursue questions that are uniquely interesting to them. Finally, students use their knowledge to create something; it could be anything from paper speakers to a musical piece. The majority of the time in each session is spent on creation and open exploration. Here's a song that was created by a group of students from Woodley Hills Elementary School in Mt. Vernon, Virginia:
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About the Programs
The Inspire programs use neuroscience, aerospace, and astrophysics as vehicles to deliver awe with the intent of connecting students with their passion. These fields are vast and multidisciplinary, which allows for instructors to touch on a variety of distinct areas, from the sciences to the arts, while still staying rooted in an overarching context.
Young students are asked to not only think critically to solve problems and to create, but also to exercise the social responsibilities that come with being an active member of society. By introducing and discussing topics in fun and imaginative ways, Inspire Programs aims to incite in its students an excitement for learning and the pursuit of knowledge.