Sound Waves Experiment #1756


Love this! Great ideas!


This lesson broke down into 2 elements for me - waves / frequency and the coding. I found the coding a bit confusing as I did not follow the reason for the structure to the code (as well as a few new terms). The previous code we looked at was pretty straightforward. However, I thought the wave / frequency / sound relationship was presented well. I did not follow the intent on bringing in color at this point - other than as a side note. But perhaps this is a foreshadowing of the next lesson (?)…

I know that sound / acoustics are used a great deal in ocean exploration and research from sonar, tagging, animal communication, soundscapes, human impacts, etc. so I am thinking about how this would fit into class / camp activities, but not seeing it immediately, so need to explore this unit a bit more.


Let us know if you have any questions around the code that we can answer!


This was a great lesson. What I am thinking is to create a counter with 10 beeps so students can understand how variables work. This could be a module that might be able to be connected to complement a project that requires sound.


Where does this lesson fit in with your curriculum
I teach sound at the lower school level. I am not sure if I could include it into my curriculum, the third graders are not familiar with Arduino. I would like for my younger students to experiment with the piezo speaker to create different sounds all while learning about frequency, amplitude, and period of sound waves.

Which part or parts of the lesson would your students need extra support in order to be successful?
The students need extra support in learning Arduino and taking a pre-written Arduino Sketch to create delays and precision timing to make sounds.

If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your role during the class. What does a successful teacher do during this lesson?
First, I will need to teach them what is Arduino. Help them with wiring up a piezo speaker.
Students will need to learn how to manipulate the code to produce different sounds.

If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your student’s role during the class. What does “student success” look like?
They need to be motivated, curious and feel successful.

Recently, we did the magnetic slime in class, so I would love to do the dancing slime as well. It looks like a fun activity.


I really wanted to collaborate with the music teacher. She is very afraid of technology. She uses my room for some of her classes, so this would be a great introduction for her and her students to get techno! Students really get into a project like this because they can make it uniquely their own. I am not sure how the gangster rap that they listen to would translate, but it would be fun to listen!


I love the idea of collaborating with the music teacher!


That’s a great idea to incorporate a counter!


Thanks for sharing the pictures! We love seeing these!


This was a very fun experiment. There is something about getting that immediate feedback when you make a change that is really satisfying, even if it doesn’t come out with what you expected. I had a hard time making what I would “music” but I did make some fun sounds. The kids will be highly engaged with this experiment and learn about sound waves in a really interesting way!


Sorry, I got behind. Had issues with the figuring out the speaker and classroom happenings.

Where does this lesson fit in with your curriculum (if the lesson is not a fit for the class you teach, how could the lesson be modified so that it is applicable to your curriculum)?

I am not sure where this would fit and I do not have the music background to explain the different tones, keys, and relationship to music. For me this was complex and I think this lesson would have to be broken up and scaffolded. Just creating basic tones would be OK, but anything else would be problematic

Which part or parts of the lesson would your students need extra support in order to be successful?

The correlation between tones and music would be the hardest. If they had already used the breadboard, the setup is relatively easy. I have absolutely no music background, so this could possibly be an issue.

If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your role during the class. What does a successful teacher actively do during this lesson?

I definitely would have to do some direct instruction with this activity. Maybe not at first, but would definitely have to when it came to creating music. Just generating random tones would not be an issue. However, students may look at this as a way to put music into an app or basic video game.

If you were to teach this lesson to your class, describe your student’s role during the class. What does “student success” look like?

My courses are mostly project-based learning (PBL), so students are in charge of their own learning. Success would be a student being able to complete activity, understand, and be able to apply what was learned to future lessons. However, with the complexity, this would require some guidance as the lesson became more “musically” complicated.


With this activity, collaborating with a music teacher would be a win-win. They get exposed to some programming music and you get some help understanding music theory.


These young men are dressed for success…too bad our students don’t look as dapper. Future engineers!


Sound certainly does travel differently in air vs water. That is a science experiment in itself.


Thank you. The school dress code, they have blazers as well! They look pretty sharp indeed!


Yes! It’s a great tip!


My seventh grade student who performed the activities in Week 2 very much enjoyed the sound waves experiment. He was able to set it up without issue and created an entire song, very happily. For part 2, the making of a solar oven appeared too complicated for the time that i have with the student, so we skipped that activity.


This activity is a concrete way to connect frequency to different pitches and experiment with the variables. In this activity, I would facilitate a bit less and may offer more direct instruction at various points. I myself had to try it a few times, to be successful. I think a short video may offer some assistance as in the previous LED blinking activity, it had a small video clip. Overall, I see my students enjoying this activity but at the same time feeling challenged but not frustrated :dizzy_face:

  1. I used this lesson in class for small groups that finished early. We are currently learning about waves and sound waves are a great example.

  2. My students needed extra support on putting the breadboard together, the image provided in the activity was not particularly clear about where each component needs to fit in.

  3. When I worked on this with my class they were in a small group and I was around to provide support as they worked. I did this activity with early finishers because I only have the one sensor kit. with more sensor kits I would let students begin the activity on their own and provide support on a one on one basis.

  4. Students would be expected to work in teams to complete the exercise. Students would be expected to ask for help when necessary. Student success looks like a completed activity.


I am also showing this to my schools music teacher, I know she works with our 4th graders and talks about sounds waves and frequency, so I’m hoping she can use this.