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Music Technology as an Introduction to STEM

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

The Role of Engineering in Integrated STEM--uh STEAM--uh Education!

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

25.962.1 - 25.962.13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--21719

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21719

Download Count

140

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Paper Authors

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Alyssa M. Batula Drexel University

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Alyssa Batula received her B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Lafayette College in 2009. She received a M.S. in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 2011 and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at Drexel in the Music, Entertainment, Technoloy Lab (METlab). She is on her second year of a STEM GK-12 fellowship and was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship in 2011. Her interests are signal processing and robotics.

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Brandon Gregory Morton Drexel University

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Brandon G. Morton received his B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in 2009. He received his M.S. in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 2011. Morton is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at Drexel in the Music, Entertainment, Technoloy Lab, where he is also a NSF GK-12 Fellow. Morton's interests include signal processing and music information retrieval.

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Raymond Migneco Drexel University

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Raymond Migneco holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.S. degree in electrical and computer engineering from Drexel University. He is currently a graduate research assistant at the Music and Entertainment Technology Lab. His research interests include expressive modeling of guitar performance, web-platforms for real-time audio interaction, and developing music- and audio-centric activities to facilitate learning of STEM concepts.

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Matthew Prockup Drexel University

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Matthew Prockup received both B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 2011, as well as a minor in music theory/composition. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D as a member of the Music and Entertainment Technology Laboratory. His research deals with topics related to human computer interaction in music performance and production.

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Erik M. Schmidt Drexel University

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Erik M. Schmidt received the B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn., in 2007 and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University in 2009. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. He is a Research Assistant in the Music and Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab) at Drexel University. Schmidt has research interests in the areas of signal processing and machine learning for machine understanding of music audio.

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David Kurt Grunberg Drexel University

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David K. Grunberg received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn., in 2010 and 2011, respectively. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Penn. He is a Research Assistant in the Music and Entertainment Technology Laboratory (MET-lab) at Drexel University. Grunberg is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and has research interests in the areas of signal processing and the intersection of music and robotics.

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Youngmoo Kim Drexel University

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Adam K. Fontecchio Drexel University

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Abstract

Music Technology as an Introduction to STEMThe Summer Music Technology (SMT) program is a novel educational experience, designed tointroduce 9th- and 10th-grade students to the engineering, science, and mathematics behindmodern music technology. Music is an integral part of these students’ daily lives, and the vastmajority use digital music devices and services and possess large personal libraries. By engagingour participants’ affinity for music technologies, we hope to further motivate and catalyzecuriosity in science and technology. The program also serves to attract students frombackgrounds underrepresented in engineering, math, and science who may not have previouslyconsidered further study in these fields.The week-long curriculum emphasizes signal processing concepts, tools, and methods throughhands-on activities and individual projects without requiring any background knowledge. Theinquiry-based program strives to maximize time spent engaged in activities and minimizelectures. In the activity Echo and Sound Design students create software simulations of real-world echoes. Students experiment with resonance tubes in the Musical Instrument Acousticsactivity. Analog and Digital Signals uses a Pictionary-style game format to teach students howcomputers store audio signals. Most modules incorporate computer-based learning and open-source software, providing students additional exposure to technology and the opportunity tocontinue their projects after the program’s conclusion.The program, initiated in 2006 as part of an NSF CAREER award, has enrolled over 100students and recently completed its fifth session. The curriculum has been revised each year withnew material and includes significant contributions from graduate and undergraduate engineeringstudents. The high school students fill out surveys after each activity, providing feedback on howinteresting and difficult an activity was, as well as how much students feel they learned from it.Last year’s surveys showed that students felt they learned the most from Echo and Sound Design(scored 4.4/5.0) and the most enjoyable activity was Analog and Digital Signals (scored 4.6/5.0).Our results and conclusions for the most recent year will be discussed in the paper.In order to expand the program and introduce these activities to more students and instructors,program activities were deployed outside of the summer camp for the first time. Six of theactivities were implemented as part of the Franklin Institute's STEM Scholars Program, whichaims to prepare underserved students for college and increase matriculation into STEM fields.This allowed us to test our methods on a different subset of students who did not specificallyseek out a music technology program. Musical Instrument Acoustics was successfully introducedas a lab in a traditional high school physics class. In this setting we could observe our activitywith more typical high school students who may not have any prior interest in technology. Theprogram curriculum is available online and can be used by any interested instructors andorganizations.

Batula, A. M., & Morton, B. G., & Migneco, R., & Prockup, M., & Schmidt, E. M., & Grunberg, D. K., & Kim, Y., & Fontecchio, A. K. (2012, June), Music Technology as an Introduction to STEM Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21719

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