Monday, January 11, 2016

The Laundry Room Experiment

Chalk this up as another science teaching moment that inadvertently presented itself.  My wife and I are re-modeling our laundry room in our house.  It's a small 6 foot by 10 foot room with a stacked washer and dryer.  It's also the room we store our shoes and coats and the storage system we were using wasn't working the way we wanted, so we're in the process of re-doing at, as seen below.

Once all of the coats and shoes were removed as well as a few items that were on shelving units, it was interesting to hear how loud the washer and dryer were when running.  The room echoes big time!  There's nothing different about the washer/dryer or the room itself.  With all of the coats and shoes, along with hats and mittens removed, there's less material to absorb the sound waves coming from the washer/dryer.  As a result, the waves reflect (echo) off the less absorbent walls.

Once we get the rest of the room finished it won't be nearly as loud.  Until then, however, we have to keep the laundry room door closed when doing laundry, otherwise it echoes through the house!  Regardless, this offered a good opportunity to explain sound and echoes to our kids.  

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