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Unit: Sound Energy

Quick Look

Grade Level: 4 (3-5)

Choose From: 1 lessons and 4 activities

Subject Areas: Physical Science, Science and Technology

A blue and white audio sound wave.
Sound waves.
copyright
Copyright © Pixabay.com 2018. https://pixabay.com/illustrations/audio-sound-waves-sound-frequency-3540254/

Summary

What are phenomena associated with sound? Sound is a form of energy that is created when an object vibrates and causes the movement of air molecules (sound waves). In this unit, students explore elements of sound—sound waves, pitch, volume, frequency and transmission—with a variety of hands-on activities.

Engineering Connection

Many engineering fields apply the principles of sound energy. Biomedical engineers develop ultrasound devices that emit and detect sound waves to quickly and safely produce internal images of healthcare patients. Electrical engineers build antennas that can transmit and receive radio waves. Ships use sonar to safely navigate and detect underwater objects, like reefs and fish. Engineers use instruments that "listen" to ultrasound sound waves to detect minute flaws in materials used to make parts—from bridge bolts to aircraft wings.

Unit Schedule

Suggested activity order:

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The Energy of Music

Students are introduced to sound energy concepts and how engineers use sound energy. Through hands-on activities and demonstrations, students examine how we know sound exists by listening to and seeing sound waves

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Ultrasound Imaging

Students learn about ultrasound and how it can be used to determine the shapes and contours of unseen objects. Using a one-dimensional ultrasound imaging device (either prepared by the teacher or put together by the students) that incorporates a LEGO® MINDSTORMS® EV3 intelligent brick and ultrasonic...

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Middle School Activity
Pitch and Frequency

To further their understanding of sound energy, students identify the different pitches and frequencies created by a vibrating ruler and a straw kazoo. They create high- and low-pitch sound waves.

preview of 'Pitch and Frequency' Activity
Elementary Activity
Radar: Using Sound for Sight

Students use these concepts to understand how dolphins use echolocation to locate prey, escape predators, navigate their environment, such as avoiding gillnets set by commercial fishing vessels. Students also learn that dolphin sounds are vibrations created by vocal organs, and that sound is a type ...

preview of 'Radar: Using Sound for Sight' Lesson
Middle School Lesson

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Last modified: December 2, 2020

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