Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Architecture/Acoustics
Design and demonstrate a whispering wall. The goals of this project are:
- To illustrate the acoustics of whispering walls.
- To design a fully functional whispering wall.
- What is a Whispering Wall?
- How is a whispering wall designed?
- Where are existing whispering walls located?
“The walls have ears,” as the saying goes when people tell hushed secrets behind closed doors. Surprisingly, sometimes the walls whisper back. A whispering wall is an architectural structure designed for optimal acoustic range. Words softly whispered by someone at on end are clearly heard by someone at the other end, perhaps a hundred yards distant. In this project you will explore the acoustical wonders of whispering walls, and build your own whispering wall model.
- Computer with Internet access
- Color printer
- Digital camera
- Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.)
All necessary materials can be found in or around your home, at local stores, or on ebay.
- Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below and terms listed above)
- Address all of the above terms and research questions.
- Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
- Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
- If possible, visit existing whispering walls and test their acoustics.
- Design and build your own whispering wall creation from wood, plastic or anything that works for you. Test the different materials to see what works best.
- Carefully record all observations.
- Analyze your data.
- Interpret your findings in a detailed report.
Include interesting photos, diagrams and your model in your science fair display.
Terms/Concepts: Architectural Acoustics; Whispering Wall
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architectural_acoustics (Architectural acoustics)
- http://www.architechweb.com/ArticleDetails/tabid/254/ArticleID/3496/Default.aspx (More about architectural acoustics)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whispering_gallery (a collection of whispering walls and their locations)
- Internet searches of your choosing. Search words or terms listed here, or make up your own phrases. Click on any results you find interesting. Have fun surfing the net!