The Topeka & Shawnee County Library’s Sounds Like Art! Exhibit allows visitors of all ages to examine the inner workings of various musical instruments to better understand the artistic beauty as well as the mechanics of melody.
If you have seen the exhibit, you might have noticed a section rather simply entitled "Science" which contains a few pieces from TEEN STEAM, a program of 712 Innovations and the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library.
Their work includes a Theremin (featured above). Known for its eerie, science fiction-esque sound, the device works without the slightest touch. Audible sound is created by moving one's hand near the vertical antenna, disrupting the Theremin's surrounding electromagnetic field. Another contribution includes a Chladni Plate (below). Created with the purpose of studying acoustics and vibration, this instrument is capable of producing a high-pitched sound through the implementation of sand, a metal plate and a bow.
WHO IS TEEN STEAM?
TEEN STEAM is a local program designed for young innovators with an active interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics (or Applied Mathematics)). Facilitated by 712 Innovations and the Topeka & Shawnee Country Public Library, the club encourages leadership, collaboration, creativity and innovation.
The TEEN STEAM crew is currently comprised of a small group of students who work closely with 712i and library facilitators to accomplish long-lasting projects.
Group facilitator and Public Services Specialist at TSCPL Meg Porteous explains that “This particular group of kids is very busy with school and band, so we’ve changed our original plans to work on larger, long-term projects with them, and are currently providing them opportunities to explore interesting stuff like modular synthesizers, sound frequency, lasers and prisms, etc.”
Prisms and Lasers – Teens deconstructed two projectors to harvest the prisms, lenses, and filters inside to use in an experiment with lasers in June.
Participants have already had the opportunity to advance their working knowledge of several advanced fields, including music production, robotics and coding, optics and food production.
The group meets the second Wednesday of every month at 712i from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
For more information on this TEEN STEAM or to learn how to join this group, contact either David Corr (712 Innovations) or Meg Porteous.