Parents, Educators & Engineers

Dream It. Build It. Teach It!

Get kids excited about engineering.

Now that's some set of pipes!

Beatriz is a high school student in Emeryville, California with two passions: music and bicycles. Building bicycles, to be exact. (This girl knows her way around a blow torch.)

Beatriz loves to create and wants to build something unique that combines her two passions--sounds like just the challenge for our favorite pair of engineers. In Musical Bike, Judy and Adam help Beatriz design and build a pedal-powered pipe organ.

You can use Musical Bike as a launching point to teach your kids the science and engineering of sound. Watch the episode and read on for more!

Ready to get your hands on a blow torch, too? Before you pull your old Schwinn out of the garage, check out the wealth of educator resources that support Musical Bike.

Hands-on Activities:
Build a Band: Build a four-stringed instrument and use it to play a tune. (45 min.)
Headphone Helper: Add headphones to a Build a Band instrument to make it easier to hear. (45 min.)
Watch a demo of both activities.

Online Game:
String Thing: Manipulate a virtual string's tension, length, and gauge to produce different musical pitches. (Go ahead, unleash your inner Jimi Hendrix!)

What Is Sound? (30 sec.)
What Is Pitch?
(30 sec.)
How Do String Length, Tension, and Gauge Affect Pitch? (30 sec.)
How Does Pipe Length Affect Pitch?
(30 sec.)
Pedal-Powered Organ (1m 24s)
Pipe Test (1m 30s)
How Does Welding Work? (30 sec.)

Video Profile:
Submarine Sonar - Lt. Darrin Barber: Electrical engineer Lt. Darrin Barber plumbs the depths of sonar technology in his work on one of the U.S. Navy's newest and most high-tech submarines, the USS Texas. (2 min.)

Bonus Sound Episodes:
Rock On: Design Squad teams create original musical instruments for a rock band.

Bonus Bike Episodes:
Garden-to-Go: Adam and Judy help two kids design and build a pedal-powered mobile garden. 
Tour de BBQ: Design Squad teams compete to build a bicycle-powered rotisserie for a BBQ Restaurant.

Okay, now go get that Schwinn...

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