Acoustics: The Sound Lab

If the delay between a sound and its echo is less than 1/10th of a second, the human ear can’t distinguish it. Through the use of a Slinky, rubber band guitar, and straws, scholars explore where sound comes from and how it travels. Whole class, small group, and individual activities vary the method of instruction and keep class engagement high.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Invite the band or orchestra teacher to discuss tuning a large ensemble
  • Extend the concept by researching sound proofing material
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires no prior knowledge

  • Offers basic version of the lab and and an advanced version that goes into tuning instruments, echos, and tones
  • Challenges pupils with higher order thinking skills

  • Lesson uses a shive wave machine, which is not readily available