Acoustics research centre
Promoting physics with a loud-poster
The aim of the project was to develop teaching materials and demonstrations that could be used by teachers to improve the teaching of the waves section of physics at key stage 4. The aim was to encourage pupils to pursue physics at A and A/S level by providing a resource to support teaching with demonstrations which would normally be unavailable in most schools.
This material makes links between the waves aspect of the key stage 4 syllabus and audio technology - sound waves, loudspeakers, amplifiers etc – to tap into the interests of pupils in music technology. These links are built using web-based materials presented in a multimedia context (sound / interactive text / pictures / animation). The original intention was to develop a series of ‘cameos’ of interesting aspects of acoustics, but it became apparent early on in the project, in consultation with teachers and our mentor, that the materials had to be a more complete teaching package if we were to maximise the number of people using them. This was felt to be particularly important in encouraging take up by more reluctant teachers. So the material had to be designed so it could be used to the whole class in a plenary session as well as by individuals or small groups at computers. Also, the web site contains worksheets, ideas for experiments, tests etc.. There are also taster presentations of audio and acoustic materials illustrating interesting and exciting ways in which the subject is taken forward at A-level and beyond as originally envisaged in the proposal.
To try and encourage take up of the material from direct mailing, a novel sound reproduction system was included in the mail shot. This was a Soundbug which radiates sound when attached to a surface such as a window. This was included alongside the more usual posters, postcards, CDROM and evaluation questionnaire.
Example teacher feedback
"I’ve just done lessons 1 and 2 using the whiteboard version with middle ability year 10. The class were well engaged and loved the animations and sound bites. They seemed to have a good understating of the topic and seemed keen to continue using the site at home on their own. Thanks a lot – Great Resource"
Example student feedback
“I thought the site was great cos I want to be a DJ or in a band and it helped me with where the sound is coming from and how it works. I did well in the quizzes as well which is good and shows that I learned something.”
EPSRC Promoting Public Awareness (PPA) project.