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Make Mongolian Music Louder on Your Next “Engineering Adventure”

Posted by Cynthia Berger on Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cover of Music to My Ears educator guide
Travel to Mongolia on your next Engineering Adventure!

India and Jacob are off on another adventure! In the latest installment of “Engineering Adventures,” our afterschool curriculum for grades 3–5, the globe-trotting duo is posting reports from Mongolia, where they’re attending Naadam, a traditional festival featuring wrestling, archery, horseback riding, and music. But there’s a problem: the festival loudspeakers aren’t loud enough. Can the intrepid duo engineer an amplifier to save the day? The kids in your out-of-school-time program are invited to help!

Explore Engineering Adventures


An Introduction to Audio Engineering

India and Jacob illustration
India and Jacob are your guides.

This is the eighth adventure for India and Jacob, the fictional ‘tween engineers who serve as your guide to Engineering Adventures. Music to My Ears introduces kids to a field of engineering that’s easy to overlook but oh so important in kids’ everyday lives: acoustical engineering.

Think about it: acoustical engineers design the speakers on smart phones, computers, and car radios; they also design spaces, like auditoriums and audio studios. Besides making sounds louder and clearer, they design ways to absorb and reduce unwanted sound—for example, sound-absorbing panels that reduce annoying clatter in schoolrooms and barriers that protect neighborhoods from highway noise.

Toot a Kazoo, Make a Loudspeaker Too

Instructional Cards illustration
Get a message from India and Jacob on your iPhone or iPad.

Music to My Ears challenges kids to design, build, and test a simple “horn loudspeaker,” the kind you might see on an old-fashioned Victrola. Along the way, kids have fun with kazoos and tin-can-style “telephones” as they explore the properties of sound and how different materials conduct or absorb sound.

Get the Engineering Adventures app for your iPhone or iPad, and instead of simply reading letters from India and Jacob, your kids will get voicemail each time the duo checks in to launch a new activity!

Fun Activities You Can Schedule Flexibly

Tower Power illustration
The prep lesson “Tower Power” introduces kids to engineering.

Like every Engineering Adventure unit, flexible scheduling is built in to Music to My Ears. The unit includes two prep lessons that boost kids’ understanding of the terms “technology” and “engineering,” followed by six different “adventures” (hands-on activities), each designed to occupy 45 minutes to an hour.

You can work through the entire unit in a week, space the activities out over several weeks, or plan any combination that fits the format of your program. Kids who miss a lesson will still understand and enjoy the lessons that follow.

Download Music to My Ears Today

We know that funds for new curriculum materials can be hard to come by. Thanks to generous support from our sponsor, The Gordon Foundation, “Music to My Ears”—like every Engineering Adventure—is available as a free download from the project website.


Learn about the “Messages from the Duo” App

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy® at the Museum of Science, Boston.

Written by Cynthia Berger

Topics: Out-of-School time

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