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Grant Wood Area Education Agency

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Physics of Sound

Investigation 4: Sound Challenges, Part 1: Sound Challenges

Lesson Summary

Each group gets a specific problem in the area of sound generation, transmission, or modification to solve using familiar materials and their knowledge of vibrations, pitch, and how sound travels. Students present their solutions to the rest of the class.

Teacher Background

We can solve many sound challenges by enhancing our sound receivers, amplifying a sound source, or altering a sound’s course.

Students are to apply what they have learned about sounds in this investigation.  They create ways to make sounds louder or softer. They invent ways to change the pitch of sounds. And they are challenged to explain how their creations and inventions work.

Set-up/Management Tips

  1. Plan for two to three days (or what time allows) for challenges.
  2. Consider using a multi-purpose room or large area if possible. Students will need room to spread out when working.
  3. Prepare all necessary items ahead of time.
  4. Students stay more actively engaged if they have choice of what they are interested in working on for their challenge.
  5. Focus on students’ attention on science concepts as they work.

Literacy Support

Books Available Through VAST Mediagraphies: (see Literacy Links)

Science Stories
Lights! Camera! Action!
Grandmother’s Hearing Test 

Scientific Vocabulary
The following words are key vocabulary words that will be introduced in this lesson and reinforced throughout the unit:

Review all unit scientific vocabulary