Sounds of STEM education
A lot of science goes into building a great acoustic guitar.
For example, students must analyze malleability, weight and other composition factors when picking the wood to make their own instrument.
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Students can learn this specialized manufacturing—along with the necessary chemistry, algebra and engineering—from the STEM Guitar curriculum and the guitar-making kits created by the power trio of Mark French at Purdue University (Indiana), Tom Singer at Sinclair Community College (Ohio) and Mike Aikens, who recently retired from Butler Community College (Kansas).
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“The project, which focuses on training faculty in the application of STEM topics relating to the guitar, has been going strong for over nine years now,” says Singer.
Schools in 48 states use the curriculum, which has reached more than 25,000 students.
STEM Guitar has also held 44 institutes, training nearly 600 educators.
Two multiyear National Science Foundation grants, valued at close to $1 million each, enable STEM Guitar to subsidize the guitar kits and teacher training, says French.