# Block That Noise!

1
2
3
4
5
2 reviews
6th-8th
Group Size
2-4 students
Active Time
2 hours
Total Time
2 hours
Area of Science
Mechanical Engineering
Key Concepts
Sound, waves, insulation, engineering design
Learning Objectives
• Explain that sound waves can be reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through different materials.
• Understand that some materials are better sound insulators than others.
• Apply the engineering design process to designing and building a sound-insulating device.
• Compare the test data from two competing solutions and determine which solution was better.
Credits
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

## Overview

Do your students ever wish they could block out an annoying noise or music they don't like? In this fun lesson plan, they will design sound-insulating containers and measure how well they work using a mobile phone and a sensor app.

## NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
• MS-PS4-2. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
• MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

 Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts Developing and Using Models. Develop and use a model to describe phenomena (MS-PS4-2). Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon criteria. PS4.A: Wave Properties. A sound wave needs a medium through which it is transmitted (MS-PS4-2). ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. Structure and Function. Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used.

## Materials

Photo of common materials that can be used to create a sound insulating container: scissors, tape, zip top bags, cotton balls, paper towels, foam boards, sheets of cardboard, a plastic container, plastic bags, paper bags and a cardboard box.

• Smartphone with a sensor app such as phyphox, available for free on Google Play for Android devices (version 4.0 or newer) or from the App Store for iOS devices (iOS 9.0 or newer).
• A second phone, tablet, or computer with speakers
• Corrugated cardboard
• Assortment of common classroom and craft materials for students to build their sound-insulating containers. Use what you have available. Here are some suggestions:
• Items to use as containers (cardboard boxes, plastic bags, plastic food storage containers, etc.)
• Insulating materials (cotton balls, crumpled scrap paper, foam, shredded newspaper, etc.)
• Assembly materials (scissors, tape, paper clips, etc.)

## Reviews

|
Science Buddies |
Be the first one to review this lesson plan.
6th-8th
Group Size
2-4 students
Active Time
2 hours
Total Time
2 hours
Area of Science
Mechanical Engineering
Key Concepts
Sound, waves, insulation, engineering design
Credits
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Learning Objectives
• Explain that sound waves can be reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through different materials.
• Understand that some materials are better sound insulators than others.
• Apply the engineering design process to designing and building a sound-insulating device.
• Compare the test data from two competing solutions and determine which solution was better.
Teacher Tool Box
Free science fair projects.