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The Music of Physics

May 21, 2015

“How logic, science and pragmatic thinking can be used as tools to build confidence and motivate youth at risk”

Since years ‘Science’ has been considered a challenging subject. Those who set their minds upon pursuing science are seen as the brave-hearts. And contrarily those who don’t, well…uh..are in the ‘can do better next time’, or worse ‘failure’ category! Children and even adults fear the realm of science – which is ironical – by nature we fear the unknown, but science is all that is known.

Dr. Kedem operates on the belief that science can open up the minds of people and not only that, he believes that it can build their self-esteem.

 

But can he convince us to believe in him? Well, Dr. Kedem demonstrated his magic on the MASHAV group – many among us were those who had feared it.

At the very beginning, Dr. Kedem challenged us with the notions of intelligence, motivation, investigation, cognition through a simple activity using combination forms of Mobius Strips to demonstrate the logic of division through observation and rational intuition. During the demonstration the room was filled with the amused squeals and wonderstruck gasps of the ‘educators’, ‘principals’, and ‘government officials’! Thus, he revealed – ‘Science as a tool for developing a child’s sprit to adults. With one simple activity, he aroused the interest of 25 grown-ups. Much more was on offer!!!

“Children’s spirit is the aim!”

He explained through the quotes from of Aldous Huxley, John Tyndall, and Faraday the need for developing science as a culture. “Observing, asking questions, brainstorming, investigation, statistical analysis, experimentation…needs to become cultural”. He promotes this by encouraging teachers to be creative to capture the minds of children. For instance he teaches students modules such as ‘the science of toys’, ‘art of measurement, ‘astronomy and space’, ‘environment and I’ to aid them to appreciate science.

 

Using the basics of sound and computing he demonstrated how the human ear acts like a microphone and also a speaker for the brain! He used a radio, pencil and a wire to transmit the sound of music from the radio, to his ear (as microphone), to his brain, to his ear (as a speakerphone) and to another persons’ ear! Miracle? Well no! Guess what, it is SCIENCE. Well, that was it; he had all of us converted into science lovers!

He believes that using these forms of science – ‘active sciences’ can help children understand things around them and also themselves better. When children understand things easily and better, it boosts their self-esteem. And self-esteem is what boosts the spirit.

In two hours he taught us the ‘physics of music’ and we learnt the ‘music of physics’!

By Meghna Goyal


Touching souls: Using Science as a Tool for Empowering Children, by Dr. Oved Kedem, Davidson Institute of Science Education.