“Listen To This” prize awarded at PEI Science Fair

April 7, 2017.  On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, we were honoured to judge a specialty prize at the PEI Science Fair, the “Listen To This” Award, which comes with a $25 prize.  This is presented annually to a student whose project best demonstrates awareness of hearing loss and associated issues, in an effort to encourage young scientists in the making to consider issues of concern to the hard of hearing.

CIMG7409 Apr 4 2017 PEI Science Fair Can Shapes Be Produced by Sound entry

PEI Science Fair project by Mariana Reyes Mejia (Photo: Daria Valkenburg)

This year, the award went to Grade 6 Parkdale Elementary School student Mariana Reyes Mejia for her project “Can Shapes Be Produced By Sound?”  Mariana’s project tested whether one could actually see sound.  The project drew upon the principle of cymatics (the study of periodic and symmetrical patterns caused by vibrations).  Using a PVC tube and pipe, with a balloon for a membrane that went over the tube, she poured salt onto the balloon.  Experiment in place, she made various sounds over the other end of the tube.  With sound, the balloon vibrated, and the salt formed different shapes.  To her delight, she was able to prove that shapes could be produced by sound, and found that the best frequency for seeing shapes was at higher sound frequencies,” notes Mariana.

You may be wondering what this project has to do with hearing loss.  Modern pocket talkers, technological tools to help amplify sound for the hard of hearing, have a tone function in which sound can be altered to resonate at a higher or lower frequency, depending on the hearing loss one has.  Mariana’s project is a simplified version of this.  She found that shapes were best seen at higher sound frequencies.  Similarly, changes in frequency can make hearing more audible.

There is lots of potential for innovative scientific studies on hearing loss, and Mariana’s project could be enlarged upon and studied further.  Did you know that, according to the Stats Canada 2012 and 2013 Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), 20% of adults aged 19 to 79 years had at least mild hearing loss in at least one ear?  Hearing loss is more common as we get older, and results show that 47% of those 60 to 79 having hearing problems.  (See http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2015001/article/14156-eng.htm).

© Daria Valkenburg

Upcoming Event – Sound Off on Hearing Issues

April 5, 2017. Here’s an upcoming event you may find of interest.  Join members of CHHA PEI at the Crapaud Library on Wednesday, April 19, 2017 between 5:30 and 6:30 pm and bring any questions/issues you might have on topics and issues dealing with hearing loss, such as:

  • Technology
  • Speechreading
  • Communication tips
  • Improving your hearing environment

We look forward to meeting you.  Bring a friend or family member, they are also welcome. See attached poster: Sound Off On HOH Issues Apr 19 2017

Introduction to this blog

April 5, 2017.   As a tool to help promote the Public Relations and Advocacy activities of the Prince Edward Island Chapter of the Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, this new venture into blogging about life when one is hard of hearing, and about the work of the Chapter, is an adventure and a journey into the unknown.

First, here is a short summary about the Chapter:   The Canadian Hard of Hearing Association, PEI Chapter

  • Was formed in 2001
  • Engages in advocacy for the hard of hearing
  • Holds regular meetings with guest speakers on hearing related topics
  • Fosters speech-reading classes
  • Encourages hearing accessibility in public places

The blog will let you know about some of the activities – as they happen, rather than waiting for the semi-annual newsletter.  It will also let you know about upcoming events.  And it gives readers a chance to let the Chapter know about their challenges, successes, tips, and activities regarding hearing loss and our ability to lead active and happy lives.

To get you familiar with the Chapter, below is our most recent newsletter: CHHA PEI Newsletter Winter Spring 2017

© Daria Valkenburg