For a complete introduction and to get to know each Quirkle, work your way across the main menu bar above. Have fun exploring, and please contact us with any questions you may have!
But that's not all. Check out the introductory video that explains why we created the Quirkles, or take a look at the sample book Gilbert Gas below.
Don’t you just love the sounds of spring? The soft pitter-patter of drizzling rain, music and laughter as we head outside to enjoy nice weather, and of course, the chirping birds signaling the change of season.
We hear millions of different sounds every day and we tend to take this sense for granted. Sounds are waves which pass through our ears via vibrations and travel by vibrations of molecules. These vibrations occur whenever any object is struck or is made contact with. Every time any of these particle vibrations occur, our ears pick them up and we construe them as sounds. Slow moving particles create low sounds while particles that move fast make high sounds. This month we feature the Quirkles Susie Sound and explore the awesomeness of this sense.
Did you know…
There is no sound in space because there are no molecules there. Here on Earth, we have air molecules which vibrate to our ears.
Sound travels slower through air than by water. In fact, the speed of sound via water is 4.3 times faster than by air. However, sound does travel far faster through steel than both air and water.
The loudest natural sound on Earth is caused by an erupting volcano. (Check out the Quirkles Vinnie Volcano.) In August 1883 the volcano on the island of Krakatoa erupted violently. The sound from this blast took roughly four hours to travel from the erupting volcano across the Indian Ocean. The loudest sound ever recorded, it reverberated around the globe seven times before diminishing. It could be heard 4,000 miles away, and people within 100 miles suffered permanent hearing loss.
Flies are not able to hear any sounds at all.
Most white cats that have blue eyes are often unable to hear sounds and are usually deaf.
Whale voices are able to travel a whopping 479 miles through the waters of the ocean.
Sound travels at a speed of around 767 miles per hour.
The majority of cows which listen to music end up producing more milk than those that do not.
Superior canal dehiscence is a disease that affects the inner ear and amplifies all internal sounds. It gets to the point where the sound of the eyeballs moving in their sockets sounds like “sandpaper on wood.”
The reason why we hate the recorded sound of our voice is because our skull changes the resonance of our voice from within and creates more bass. When we hear a digital recording of our voice, although slightly unfamiliar to ourselves, it’s exactly how other people hear it.
Elephants are so afraid of bees that the mere sound of buzzing is enough to make an entire herd flee. They have even developed a special rumble just to warn each other if bees are nearby.
So now that you have an impressive amount of sound trivia, check out our video where Chloe demonstrates how sound changes depending on how much water is in each of her “musical” glasses. After you’ve finished this fun activity, go outside and enjoy the sounds of the season!
This month we often say love is in the air. If that’s the case it must be in small quantities because by volume, dry air contains 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Instead of love, this month we focus on one of those elements: oxygen.
Poor oxygen. How can something so important be so taken for granted? It’s essential for life. Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the universe. Just five elements make up more than 90 percent of the weight in the Earth’s crust. Almost half of the weight of the crust comes from oxygen. (Silicon, aluminum, iron and calcium are the other four main elements in the crust.) There is more oxygen inside your body than any other element, and at least 21% of Earth’s atmosphere is made of oxygen.
But what do you really know about this colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that helps sustain life on this planet? Oxygen is really, really old. It’s been on Earth for at least 2.3-2.4 billion years! But even though oxygen has been around for a very long time, it took until 1608 for people to notice. A Dutch inventor named Cornelius Drebbel was working on an experiment when he noticed a mysterious gas being released. (Some say Leonardo da Vinci first proposed that air was made up of two gases, one for breathing and one for fueling fire earlier.)
By the 1770s, at least three different chemists were trying to solve the mystery of this unknown gas. In 1771, a scientist named Carl Wilhelm Steele discovered oxygen, but he never published his findings. A chemist named Joseph Priestly realized that the flame of a candle burned brighter in the mystery gas in 1774, and he did many other experiments to learn more about the gas. A third chemist, Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier finally gave the gas a name: oxygen. Oxygen’s name comes from the Greek oxy and genes, which means “acid-forming.”
Oxygen (O2) is unstable in our planet’s atmosphere and must be constantly replenished by photosynthesis in green plants. (Read Gilbert Gas.) Without life, our atmosphere would contain almost no O2. If we discover any other planets with atmospheres rich in oxygen, we will know that life is almost certainly present on these planets; significant quantities of O2 will only exist on planets when it is released by living things.
We’ve already learned that all living things on Earth use oxygen to breathe, but oxygen has many other uses, too. Oxygen is used to make steel and plastic, and liquid oxygen is one of the main ingredients in rocket fuel. It is also used in cars and airplanes. Fire uses oxygen to burn. Oxygen tanks help people with breathing problems live and breathe. They also help astronauts walk in space and scuba divers swim to explore the depths of the oceans.
This month learn more by reading the Quirkles book, Ollie Oxygen then watch our video to see how oxygen impacts a candle race.
So now you know it’s important to appreciate this incredible element! Oxygen is in more than just the air we breathe: it’s in the oceans, the Sun, dirt, rocks, plastic, cars, airplanes, and more. We need it to live, fire needs it to burn, and oxygen-producing plants make it all possible. Thank goodness for oxygen!
See how the amount of water makes the sound change. Through this investigation, learn about sound and make beautiful music, too!
Which candle will burn out first? Try a candle race to see!
"I would like to say THANK YOU! I have never seen a curriculum capture the true essence of learning like the Quirkles. My first graders eat, sleep, and breathe the Quirkles!"
-Mandy, First Grade Teacher, Siebolt, TX
I really appreciate your ideas and support!!! I am amazed at the Quirkles series that you have created and know you all must be FABULOUS teachers!!!
Cindy, Lower School Science Coordinator, Suffolk, VA