Airdate: Feb 11, 2010
Scientist: Kamau Hamilton
Kids' Science Challenge: SETI - Earth Speaks
The sounds of sneakers squeaking and chicken grilling may not be new for us, but for extraterrestrials they could be a window on humanity.
KH: Food cooking on a New York City corner, Wednesday, April 13th.
[SFX chicken being chopped and grilled]
JM: No doubt you've heard the sounds of chicken grilling? Or children laughing? Or sneakers squeaking? Could these sounds and others like them, be a clue to what it means to be human? I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Kamau Hamilton is a winner in last year's Kids' Science Challenge, our free nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders. Kamau's winning idea was to communicate with extraterrestrial life by way of sounds. By sending audio clips into the cosmos, perhaps someoneor somethingcould get a sense of life on earth. We gave Kamau a sound recorder, and asked him to listen to the sounds of his neighborhood, with the aim of maybe one day sending them into outer space, as an audio message in a bottle. Well, now imagine you're an alien as you listen to a sampling of Kamau's recordings.
KH: Sneaker sounds.
[SFX sneaker squeeks]
KH: Here's a truck engine.
[SFX truck engine idling]
KH: New York City, sirens.
KH: Human laughing.
[SFX children laughing]
KH: Cash register.
[SFX cash register beeps]
KH: Talking drum.
JM: Kamau Hamilton presented the SETI Institute with his collection of sounds, which inspired them to launch an "Earthspeaks" website, where anyone can send in sounds, words, or images. Pulse of the Planet's Kids' Science Challenge is made possible by the National Science Foundation. Check out kidsciencechallenge.com. I'm Jim Metzner.