Auditory Demonstrations for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Outreach

Report No. ARL-SR-0306
Authors: Ashley N Foots; Jeremy R Gaston; Kimberly A Pollard; Timothy J Mermagen
Date/Pages: January 2015; 46 pages
Abstract: The US Army Research Laboratory (ARL) participates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) outreach programs, including the Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science (GEMS) program under the Army Educational Outreach Program. During GEMS, ARL provides STEM instruction and lab demonstrations to visiting groups of students ranging from fifth graders through high school graduates. This report documents the involvement of ARLs Human Research and Engineering Directorates Perceptual Sciences Branch (PSB) in the 2014 GEMS program and provides detailed descriptions of lecture materials, slides, and hands-on demonstrations that were used. PSB provided education through lecture and demonstrations on 3 auditory topics: 1) the anatomy and physiology of hearing and hearing conservation, 2) acoustic resonance, and 3) bone conduction. Students learned about how the ear works, what listening levels are safe, how objects such as musical instruments or the vocal tract resonate with sound, how sound can travel through bones, and when bone-conducted hearing is used. Demonstrations included measuring earbud output levels on an acoustic test fixture, visualizing resonance nodes with a Chladni plate, and listening to sounds through bone conduction headsets.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2015