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Intensity and Intensity Level

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Students use sound level meters to investigate how sound level drops off with distance.

Intensity and Intensity Level

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.

Learning Goal:

Students discover that as they double their distance from the source the sound level drops off by about 6 dB.

1. Students measured the sound level of white noise starting at the source and then doubling the distance that they stood from the source.

2. Students were then asked to graph distance vs. sound level.

3. Students reported out on how their graphs looked.

I used the site http://simplynoise.com and attached external speakers to the computer rather than using the class room sound system.  I wanted a single source for the sound that they 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.

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