Our activities include fun, hands-on creative projects that blend the sciences and the arts. Below, check out some of our projects and activities from 2019. We are hard at work designing new activities and projects for Summer 2020!
WHERE DO SOUNDS HIDE?
From sounds made by bats, dolphins, and insects, to electromagnetic fields and more, hidden sounds surround us every day. Wouldn't it be cool to hear some of these inaudible sounds? In this photo, students use simple DIY electronics to build tools to help listen to the world around them.
HOW DO WE RECORD SOUND?
Students work together to create foley sound, music with analogue synthesizers, and field recordings to create a "commercial" for an invention they imagine. They even spend time in the recording studio making foley sounds and voiceovers. The inventions and commercials are presented to the parents at the end of the day.
With the sounds made in the analog synthesizer studio, campers create interactive Twister mats that make sound when stepped on. They decorate the mats with drawing of what they think the sounds would look like. Through playing Twister, a composition is created completely through chance!
WHAT IF YOU COULD PAINT WITH SOUND?
Have you ever wanted to make your own musical score but didn't know where to start? In this activity we make a graphical musical a score that anyone can create and play. Objects are affixed to contact microphones, dipped in paint, and then moved across the surface of a blank piece of paper to create the score. This photo depicts a graphic score in the making, with some of the objects students used to paint and to make sound.
WHAT IF YOU COULD MAKE YOUR OWN MICROPHONE, FROM SCRATCH?
Students each build a contact microphone, which creates sound with physical contact, using simple, DIY electronics. They then explore all of the different sound that can be made by touching different objects and surfaces with different textures.
WHAT IS A SYNTHESIZER?
Students learn to use vintage and contemporary modular synthesizers, patching together fun and intriguing new sounds!
INTERACTIVE SOUND MAPS
Using Makey Makeys, conductive ink, and copper tape, we make interactive sound maps of our very own town, Oberlin! We use field recordings that we take around town to add sound to our maps, and when we make a connection on the map in a specific location, the corresponding sound will play.
MUSICAL MIND READING
In this activity, campers decorate their own styrofoam heads and record backstories for them. Copper tape , so when parents hold an induction coil to the heads, they can hear the characters' "thoughts."