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Sunset students create sound waves with recycled materials


March 30, 2016

Photo by Sara Hopp Student Audrey Halbert demonstrates her musical instrument made out of recycled materials.

Some may see broken boxes, empty water bottles and cut up rubber bands as trash, but not Sara Hopp’s 8th grade science students—they see musical instruments.

Hopp’s classes recently finished up their sound waves unit by building musical instruments created out of recyclable materials. Working in groups, the students had to choose a country or region their musical instrument would likely come from—such as Mexico, India or Eastern Europe. They worked together, researched and narrowed it down to one or a combination of instruments from that region to build.

Students sourced and used all recyclable or “junk” materials to build their instrument(s). Once constructed, the students had additional goals to meet: they had to demonstrate their instrument to their fellow students, it had to produce three different pitches, as well as have an amplitude that could be heard across the room.

“The students did a fantastic job and after all the presentations we had an impromptu jam session using all the instruments created,” Hopp said. These students gained knowledge in interdisciplinary learning, inquiry-based learning, and fostered international-mindedness. These are all key foundations to the IB Middle Years Programme. Band Director Myron Whisman noted how exciting it was to see science and music being blended together.

These instruments will be on display at Sunset Middle School’s showcase on Wednesday, May 4.


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