Constructing a soundproof dorm room

September 29, 2015
Students worked in groups to build replicas of dorm rooms.

Physics with Geometry class had an exciting first module. Girls tackled a subject near and dear to every boarding student’s heart – a soundproof dorm room. Science teacher Ms. Chandra Smith titled the project, “Sleep: It’s What’s Important.” The objective? To build a 12” x 12” x 12” replica of a second-floor dorm room that shields the occupant from the auditory fanfare of dorm life. The project description read like this:

“North and South dorms are finally going to be renovated! Artists, musicians, athletes, and the like are all excited to move in; oh and dorm directors too! When current residents were asked what was important to consider in the new building, it became clear that ideal sleeping conditions are a priority. All sorts of noises were reported to be heard in the late hours of the night and sometimes wee hours of the morning…Madeira is looking to send a wise PWG team who can create a new type of soundproof barrier to be used in the construction of the new dorms.”

In groups of four, students worked together to study, design, and build their replica dorm room. Research was done on current building materials, how soundwaves reacted to different mediums, and soundproofing versus sound resistance. Students not only conducted research, but they also utilized mathematics and technical skills using power tools to create their dream dorm room.

Upon completion of their room, groups presented multimedia presentations to a panel of Madeira faculty and staff including the head of security, dean of students, a physics teacher and members of the Development Office. Lastly, tests were completed to measure the decibel level of sound that could be heard within the structure.

View photos from this project.