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Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones
written by Caroline Hall
This AAPT Lesson Plan for Grades 6-9 explores pitch, frequency, amplitude, and resonance phenomena through hands-on activities. It blends digital modeling of wave phenomena with physical models that include spaghetti resonators and straw trombones. Its main objective is to help students gain deeper understanding of how vibrations create sound in various media and how sound energy is transferred or transported in tuning forks and musical instruments. It's appropriate for students with little or no background in wave behavior or properties of waves.

This lesson was inspired by an article in The Physics Teacher magazine: "Classroom Materials from the Acoustical Society of America", authored by W.K. Adams, A. Clark, and K. Schneider.
Series Name:  Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Cooperative Learning
= Modeling
Oscillations & Waves
- Acoustics
= Pitch
- General
- Instruments
= Air Column Instruments
= Tuning Forks
- Resonance
- Wave Motion
= Longitudinal Pulses and Waves
= Transfer of Energy in Waves
= Wave Properties of Sound
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Problem/Problem Set
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Educators
- Learners
- application/ms-word
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Access Rights:
Limited free access
Document will be made freely available for six months from publication date, then will be available only by subscription.
License:
This material is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 license.
Rights Holder:
American Association of Physics Teachers
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 13, 2017 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
November 15, 2017 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 8, 2017
Other Collections:

Next Generation Science Standards

Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (MS-PS4)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)
  • Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave. (MS-PS4-1)
  • Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. (MS-PS4-2)

Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Relationship Between Energy and Forces (PS3.C)
  • When two objects interact, each one exerts a force on the other that can cause energy to be transferred to or from the object. (6-8)
Wave Properties (PS4.A)
  • A simple wave has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. (6-8)
  • A sound wave needs a medium through which it is transmitted. (6-8)

Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Patterns (K-12)
  • Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships. (6-8)
Systems and System Models (K-12)
  • Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes and outputs— and energy, matter, and information flows within systems. (6-8)
Structure and Function (K-12)
  • Structures can be designed to serve particular functions by taking into account properties of different materials, and how materials can be shaped and used. (6-8)

NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)
    • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena. (6-8)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
    • Apply scientific ideas or principles to design, construct, and test a design of an object, tool, process or system. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
    • Develop a model to predict and/or describe phenomena. (6-8)
    • Develop a model to describe unobservable mechanisms. (6-8)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (K-12)
  • Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions. (6-8)
    • Conduct an investigation to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of an investigation. (6-8)

NGSS Nature of Science Standards (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
  • Analyzing data in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to extending quantitative analysis to investigations, distinguishing between correlation and causation, and basic statistical techniques of data and error analysis. (6-8)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include constructing explanations and designing solutions supported by multiple sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (6-8)
Developing and Using Models (K-12)
  • Modeling in 6–8 builds on K–5 and progresses to developing, using and revising models to describe, test, and predict more abstract phenomena and design systems. (6-8)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (K-12)
  • Planning and carrying out investigations to answer questions or test solutions to problems in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to include investigations that use multiple variables and provide evidence to support explanations or design solutions. (6-8)
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
C. Hall, , 2017, WWW Document, (https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724).
AJP/PRST-PER
C. Hall, Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones, , 2017, <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724>.
APA Format
Hall, C. (2017). Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724
Chicago Format
Hall, Caroline. "Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones." In Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones, 17. 2017. https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724 (accessed 12 December 2017).
MLA Format
Hall, Caroline. Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones. 2017. 12 Dec. 2017 <https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724>.
BibTeX Export Format
@techreport{ Author = "Caroline Hall", Title = {Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones}, Month = {November}, Year = {2017} }
Refer Export Format

%A Caroline Hall
%T Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones
%S Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones
%D November 8, 2017
%P 17
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724
%O application/ms-word

EndNote Export Format

%0 Report
%A Hall, Caroline
%D November 8, 2017
%T Vibration Science: Tuning Forks, Pasta Resonance, and Straw Trombones
%P 17
%8 November 8, 2017
%U https://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=14538&DocID=4724


Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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