Academic Year 8

Year 8 scientists estimate the speed of sound.

We’ve had the school quad echoing with the sound of clapping as our Year 8s progress with their topic on sound.

In an outside-of-the-classroom experiment, the students attempted to work out the speed of sound by timing how long it took for an echo to bounce back to them over a measured distance.

Positioning themselves 50 metres from the Dining Room wall, they built up a pattern of noise by clapping 25 times in quick succession and listening for the echoes. The time between each clap was the journey time for the sound.

By timing how long it took for the sound to travel 100 metres (to the wall and back again) the girls were able to work out how long it took for the 25 claps to travel. This figure they could then use to calculate an average travel time for sound –  343 metres per second if their sums were accurate enough.  



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