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NGSS Design Badge

Awarded: Apr 26, 2018

Awarded To:How Can We Sense So Many Different Sounds From A Distance? [v2.1]

VERIFY


Synopsis

In this unit, students start by observing a perplexing phenomenon.  When a sewing needle taped to a cone, is dragged over the surface of a plastic disc that is spun underneath it, voices and musical notes can be heard coming from it. This leads students to start wondering about other sound related phenomena, which in turn leads to wealth of new questions about 1) what causes different sounds? 2) what is traveling from a sound source to our ears? 3) How do we hear and why do we hear things differently in different places? 4) and how do electronic devices (digital sound sources) produce and detect sounds?

  • By investigating things like loudness and pitch, students figure out a model of vibration that captures important ideas about changes in the frequency and amplitude of the vibrations that can explain these different characteristics of sounds. What they figure out from this helps answer their initial questions about what causes different sounds.

  • By testing various types of materials and using types of simulations, students figure out how sound travels from one location to another through matter. What they figure out from this helps answer their initial questions about what is traveling from a sound source to our ears.

  • By investigating the internal structure of the ear and by designing and testing how different structures can redirect sounds, students figure out how sounds can be detected, reflected, absorbed, and transmitted. What they figure out from this helps answer their initial questions about how we hear and why we hear things differently in different places.

  • By dissecting an electronic speaker and building and testing a speaker of their own design and by analyzing how Edison wax cylinders and vinyl records were produced, students figure out how analog and digital audio information can be encoded and played back. What they figure out from this helps answer their initial questions about how electronic devices (digital sound sources) produce and detect sounds.


DEVELOPMENT TEAM