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Putting Hvac To Music

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.515.1 - 5.515.5



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Paper Authors

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Mark W. Meredith

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David B. Meredith

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Brooke M. Morrison

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1633

Putting HVAC to Music

David B. Meredith, Mark W. Meredith, and Brooke M. Morrison The Pennsylvania State University


As educators in an exploding world of technical knowledge, we must always look for ways to get students to learn material faster. One way of doing that is to stimulate more of the students’ senses. The magic of the computer allows us to do that. At PennState Fayette campus, we offer an ABET accredited Associate Degree program called Building Environmental Systems Technology (BEST). This program prepares students for all aspects of the Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning (HVAC) industry. But to adequately expose the students to the many inter- related aspects of this broad industry in such a short time is a challenge.

As reported in the literature1, faculty in the BEST program have been using the computer for many years to facilitate students’ understanding of aspects of the HVAC industry. With vastly improved computing speed and output quality, a Basic program that produced jerky black and white animations of moving blobs2 is now a Java-based, smooth, multi-colored interactive teaching tool for psychrometrics3. With the advent of the internet, this tool can be made available to students and faculty anywhere, any time.

The internet also allows faculty access to Shareware tools that can be incorporated into the classroom experience. One of these tools is a nifty shareware software package that allows you to produce animated gifs4 very easily. Unfortunately, it is still a rather time consuming process. My best estimate based on the work reported in this paper is that an experienced user can expect to spend at least an hour to produce a simple ten-second animation.

But why use music? My experience is that a majority of the engineering and technology students relate well to music. I choose familiar tunes that most students will recognize. I would like to think that when they hear a particular tune in the future, their minds will connect with a technical concept. But pragmatically, I use this method because of my long experience with the Boy Scouts of America. Their teaching philosophy is that you should make learning fun. When students are having fun, they will retain more knowledge, because they will spend more time on that particular task. Perhaps this theme is the most important message within this paper.

The Process

Discussed below are the steps to follow to develop your own musical animations. Since I would like to be able to say that it is as easy as One-Two-Three, I had to start with a zero step, which is very important, but really must come before the actual process of making the animation.

Meredith, M. W., & Meredith, D. B., & Morrison, B. M. (2000, June), Putting Hvac To Music Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8652

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