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Music to the ears: Designing and creating a sound generator
This unit is designed for 9-11 years old pupils.
This unit relates to the science curriculum on sound and the engineering field of acoustics. In this unit the pupils work with the engineering design process and are asked to meet a challenge. However, before being able to meet the challenge the pupils need knowledge about science and acoustics and skills for attaching the strings to the resonance box. Lesson 2 is about gaining that knowledge and those skills. In lesson 3 the pupils actually imagine and create the sound box. Also they try to improve it continually. In lesson 4 the soundtrack is being composed and they evaluate the products as well as the process.
The preparatory lesson is aimed at raising awareness of how engineering contributes to our daily lives in ways that are not always obvious.
In lesson 1 the engineering problem, its context and the engineering process is introduced. A short movie clip is played which doesn’t have sound. The challenge for pupils is to make a soundtrack for this movie clip-using their own designed sound box.
In lesson 2 the ‘Ask’ element of the engineering process leads to an investigation of sound. The pupils undertake experiments in which they discover the properties of sound. They also discover how the size of a resonance box influences sound.
Lesson 3 involves the pupils in applying the engineering design process to meet the challenge. The pupils make their own sound box.
In Lesson 4 the pupils, in groups, compose their soundtrack. After the presentation of all soundtracks, time is taken to determine whether the pupils were able to meet all the criteria and to discuss how they made improvements.