Augustana Society of Physics Students (ASPS)


Augustana Society of Physics Students (ASPS)

Acoustical Air

Augustana Society of Physics Students (ASPS)

Augustana College

639 38th St.

Rock Island, IL 60586

This proposal for the Marsh W. White Award has been prepared by the following member of the ASPS;

Jacob Wietting

We request the total amount of $235 for the purpose of expanding local knowledge and awareness of the exciting world of Acoustical Physics.

This proposal has been submitted on November 15, 2007


The purpose of the Acoustical Air exhibit is to demonstrate the ways sound waves affect the air around us. The exhibitions will be transported from the Augustana College Physics Department to local public and private schools in order to demonstrate the different ways we can observe the interaction between sound and the physical environment around us.

Proposed Activities

As can be seen in past proposals, our chapter of SPS is highly devoted to community outreach. In just the past year we have visited over 3 local elementary schools to demonstrate the basic principles of physics and have held 3 open houses where the community was invited into our little bubble at Augustana College to learn about Physics. In the past years we have begun to create many different sets of demonstrations to illustrate the different areas of physics. These have ranged from Electricity & Magnetism all the way to Newton’s Laws. We have made it our number one goal to make sure that the students get excited with the topic we are demonstrating and create “toys” that they can play with to help them understand and have fun with Physics.

In this proposal, we are asking for the materials and items needed to set up a proper Acoustics Demonstration Module. We want to have a mobile set of demonstrations to show how sound interacts with the environment around us and how it can be manipulated by us. We are asking for the money totaling in $210 in order to purchase the following items: A Resonation Tube at $155, a set of Singing Bowls at $50, and a Guitar String Mount at $30.

The resonation tube will be built by the club out of materials purchased off of the internet and will be used to demonstrate how sound interacts with the air around us. It will construct the structure of a Sine curve in the bean pellets upon reaching resonation allowing students to be able to actually see what is going on when they hear different pitches. This will actually be a smaller model of the resonation tube found in the Hong Kong Museum of Science.

The set of singing bowls will be purchased from a student who is currently studying in china where they are easy to find. The “singing bowls” demonstration will show how the vibration of a structure is what causes sound that our ears can hear. The demonstration will include several harmonic brass bowls, also known as Buddha Bowls, and a set of Crystal Wine glasses. The children will be invited to the front of the classroom to play with the brass bowls and learn how they produce the resonation patterns that they do.

The guitar string mount will be used to show how different tensions on different kinds of wires can produce many kinds of pitches. It will also, like the resonation tube, be constructed by a member of the Chapter. This demonstration in particular can be useful in more ways than one because it can be converted easily into a demonstration showing the properties of Electricity & Magnetism.

All three of these demonstrations would be very helpful to not only our chapter, but also the community. The best part about doing these demonstrations is the response we get from the children and how enthusiastic they are. It would be very helpful to have these items in our arsenal of demonstrations and would greatly help us teach the community.