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Students use sound level meters to investigate how sound level drops off with distance.
Before notes on the topic, we conducted a hands on activity with sound level meters using A-weighting. The activity took around 15 – 20 minutes with graphing.
- Students discover that as they double their distance from the source the sound level drops off by about 6 dB.
- Students measured the sound level of white noise starting at the source and then doubling the distance that they stood from the source.
- Students were then asked to graph distance vs. sound level.
- Students reported out on how their graphs looked.
Use the site http://simplynoise.com and attach external speakers to the computer rather than using the class room sound system. This is a single source for the sound that students could take measurements off of.
Many students downloaded a sound level App onto their phone that day during class and others asked to borrow the sound level meters for a day to check their workplace or other locations with loud sounds that they were aware of.