Monday, September 29, 2008

What's Inside Our Ear? (or how do we hear?)

Well, we have finally started with our Human Body Project again. We do not take a summer break from school but we do change our focus to outdoor time, nature and field trips etc. So now that fall is in full swing we have been doing more indoor activities.

Today we worked on the human ear. We made a model of the ear while I talked to the boys about how our ears work.

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The Outer Ear, which the boys can feel on their own body, gathers and funnels sound into the.......

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Ear Canal.... stretched across the end of the canal is the Eardrum, a thin sheet of tissue. When sound waves hit the eardrum it vibrates. The vibrating eardrun passes the vibrations to the.....

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Hammer, which causes the Anvil to vibrate. The Anvil, in turn, causes the Stirrup to vibrate.
The Stirrup rests on a thin sheet of tissue called the Oval Window that covers an opening in the Cochlea. The vibrating Stirrup passes the vibrations to the Oval Window, which starts a fluid inside the Cochlea moving. This moving fluid pushes and pulls on the cells in the Cochlea that change the energy in the movements into electrical energy signals sent to the nerves. All of these nerves join up to form the main Hearing, or Auditory Nerve that carries the signals to the hearing center in the brain. The brain tells us what we hear and decides if we should do anything in response.

We will be doing a couple more activities on the ear later this week as well. Hope this helped you learn a little bit about what is inside your ear. I know it helped us!

1 comment:

Alison said...

I like the idea of building a model to show how this works.