Grade Level: 3 (3-5)
Choose From: 3 lessons and 3 activities
Subject Areas: Science and Technology
SummaryStudents learn the connections between the science of sound waves and engineering design for sound environments. Through three lessons, students come to better understand sound waves, including how they change with distance, travel through different mediums, and are enhanced or mitigated in designed sound environments. They are introduced to audio engineers who use their expert scientific knowledge to manipulate sound for music and film production. They see how the invention of the telephone pioneered communications engineering, leading to today's long-range communication industry and its worldwide impact. Students analyze materials for sound properties suitable for acoustic design, learning about the varied environments created by acoustical engineers. Hands-on activities include modeling the placement of microphones to create a specific musical image, modeling and analyzing a string telephone, and applying what they've learned about sound waves and materials to model a controlled sound room.
Many types of engineers must understand the behavior of sound waves to do their work. Audio engineers manipulate sound for the production of music, TV and film. Some engineers design recording studios, microphones and mixing equipment. Acoustical engineers design indoor and outdoor environments that enhance sound or mitigate noise. Communications engineers apply an understanding of sound waves to innovate cutting-edge technology of the global communications industry—everything from cell phones to the Internet.
Lesson 1: Audio Engineers: Sound Weavers: how sound waves change with distance and an introduction to audio engineering and its vital role in music and movie production
Lesson 2: Sound Extenders: how sound travels, and how the telephone invention was the beginning of today's communications engineering
Lesson 3: Sound Environment Shapers: how sound and materials interact, through the exploration of environments designed by acoustical engineers
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ContributorsSee individual lessons and activities.
Supporting ProgramIntegrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Colorado Boulder
This digital library content was developed by the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program under National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0338326. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Last modified: August 22, 2017