Peace and Quiet: A Sound Energy PBL Exploration

The purpose of this project is for students to solve an authentic problem in their community (the school). Teachers should help students identify a problem area in the school that gets much too noisy (e.g. the cafeteria). The lack of acoustic absorption leads to sounds reverberating and amplifying. Because of the noise level, students may be punished with silent lunch. Is it possible to make a positive change before it even becomes a problem?

Students are posed with this problem as the basis of their learning. “How can we use our understanding of sound energy to create sound absorbing materials?” Throughout the course of the unit, students will learn through lectures, guided studies of videos and articles, and hands-on investigations. Students will also be given ample time to work in their groups of 3-4 to create technology that will lower the volume of sound in a room.

Author: Philip Carey

View the lesson and supporting materials here.