WILKES-BARRE — What’s the sound of two eggs frying?
When Wilkes University Radio Station Manager Kristen Rock asked a room full of elementary school youngsters to identify the sound, she got every answer except eggs.
“Rain drops!” “A toilet flushing!” “Hail!”
The children, all participants in the SHINE after-school program that Wilkes supports, had an easier time identifying the sound of cars crashing on a race track, guessing it immediately, than demanding to see the video Rock was hiding from them. She turned the computer screen so they could view a nasty race car collision that sent one speedster spinning.
“Oh, that had to hurt!” Maliyah Holt winced.
The students were participating in the “become a college student for a day” event Wednesday, when about 75 of them participated in brief hands-on lessons ranging from taking a pulse in the Nursing simulation center to learning how liquid hydrogen can be used to make ice cream.
In the case of the small radio booth at WCLH, Rock gave them a brief overview on the science and history of radio before diving into the invisible work of Foley Artists, the folk who create sound effects for radio plays and commercials.
After playing guess that sound, she let some of them make different effects with simple household items: crumpling tin foil, pouring rice into a plastic container to mimic rain, and pulling a piece of yarn through a hole in a paper cup to create the sound of sawing wood. She recorded the sound on the Disk Jockey’s microphone, and played them back.
Most of the youngsters recognized the yarn sound for what it was intended, saying it sounded like something scraping or cutting, but SHINE director Carol Nicholas had a different take.
“It’s rap music,” she smiled, referring to the sound known as “scratching” or “scrubbing” that was originally made when a DJ rapidly spun a record back and forth on a turntable with the stylus down.
Speaking of DJs, one may have been in the making. When Rock asked if the youngsters knew what a DJ is, Christopher Agramonte confidently announced “I’m a DJ.”
“Oh?” She said. “We’ll have to talk later. We’re hiring.”
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish