Science Reasoning Center - Sound

There are three Sound passages that target students' science reasoning abilities. They are ...
Intensity and the Decibel System
11 Questions
This passage describes the relationship between the intensity of a sound at a given distance from the source and the associated deciBel level. Information is presented in the form of two tables and a graph. Questions target a student's ability to recognize the qualitative and quantitative relationship between variables, to use the relationship to compare various sounds with different intensities or deciBel ratings or at different distances from the same source, and to extrapolate from a table or a graph to predict deciBel ratings or intensities for a given set of conditions.
Sound Loudness and the Sone Scale
14 Questions
This passage describes the relationship between sound intensity and the deciBel level, between the perceived loudness of a sound and its frequency and deciBel level, and the sone scale of loudness. Information is presented in the form of a table, a graph with several equal loudness curves and a figure representing the sone scale. Questions target a student's ability to identify and use the relationship between intensity and the deciBel rating, to read values from and to interpret a complex graph, to use data from two or more data presentations in order to compare two sounds, and to combine information from two or more data presentations in order to draw valid conclusions.
The Sound of Music
12 Questions
This passage uses two tables to compare and contrast the frequency, wavelength and speeds of the various harmonics produced by open- and closed-end resonance columns. The frequency composition of a clarinet and a flute are compared to one another. Questions target a student's ability to select information from a complex data table or a graph, to identify the relationship among the variables wavelength, frequency, speed and harmonic number, to use such relationships to make comparisons of the sounds produced by two different air columns, and to combine information in a table with information in a graph in order to identify appropriate conclusions.

UPDATE: We have postponed this project due to the urgency of several others. We hope to resume work on it in the near future. Sorry. 

On the Resource CD:
A Resource CD is being prepared to assist classroom teachers in using this section of the website more effectively within their classrooms. The Physics Classroom hopes to release the CD during the Fall semester of of 2014.

The Sound and Music section of the CD will include five different passages, including these three passages. The passages are accompanied by questions, answers with thorough explanations, and a table that associates each question with a specific science reasoning skill (or college readiness standard). Each passage includes considerably more questions than those presented here in the Science Reasoning Center. In addition to PDF files, the information on the CD is also available as Microsoft Word files, allowing teachers the ability to pick and choose questions from the large bank of questions associated with each passage.

More information about the CD can be found at the Resource CD page.

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