Dayton Regional STEM Center
(937) 225-4598
200 S. Keowee St. Dayton, OH 45402

Rockin’ Music Box

As Beethoven once said, “Music can change the world.” In this unit, student design teams use the Engineering Design Process to design a musical instrument that can play Hot Cross Buns. This instrument and its associated design are made with the intent of providing access to music for underprivileged children in diverse areas of the world. Students investigate sound energy, vibrations and ways in which the pitch of an instrument can be changed. Drawing from this gained knowledge, teams choose materials that best transmit sound waves for the instrument their instrument design. In addition, design teams use their instrument to play “Hot Cross Buns,” demonstrating how change in pitch. Finally, students document and report their engineering design process in the format of a news article.


Engineering Design Challenge:

Many children live in economically disadvantaged areas, without the same resources available to other students their age. In order to help make it possible for these students to learn about instruments and sound, your engineering design team’s challenge is to design and construct a musical instrument that produces at least three different pitches. The instrument must be constructed from only common materials that are easily accessible to everyone, anywhere.