Slap Tubes, Flutes, and Xylophones: The Physics of Pipe-Based Instruments

It's the encore to a wave unit. Individuals build either a slap tube, flute, or xylophone as a culminating activity for a physics unit on waves. Scholars calculate the lengths of pipes needed to produce the specific notes for their instruments. After building their instruments, pupils learn to play them and perform for the class.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Require all length calculations to be approved prior to allowing students to build their instruments
Classroom Considerations
  • Assumes the class is working on a unit on waves and how they relate to sound
  • Build the three instruments to have knowledge of how to complete each and to provide an example for students
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Pros
  • Includes instructions and videos for all three instruments
  • Provides a rubric and a benchmark recording sheet to assist with scoring the project
Cons
  • None
NGSS