“I’m thankful for the opportunity of being able to do this, receiving the grant and being able to buy the things I need for my science of sound exhibit."
Rodney Gipson, a music technology teacher at Morris Innovative High School, was recently awarded a Dalton Education Foundation grant to purchase new sound equipment for his classroom. His goal is to teach students how sounds move in music.
Gipson's interest in sound frequencies was peaked during a field trip visit to the Mars candy factory in Cleveland, Tennessee. There, he saw how sound frequencies neatly cut Twix bars in half. The tour guide explained that the use of sound frequencies is neater and more efficient than using knives or blades.
Fueled by a newfound fascination in the utility of sound frequencies, Gipson began conducting his own research. Eventually, he came up with a concept on how to incorporate sound frequency in the classroom.
"I realized I was going to need some things, so I did some more research and eventually found the specific sound equipment that I needed," Gipson said.
According to Gipson, he wanted to give his students an avenue to a deeper understanding of how sound truly works and moves.
"When they work on finalizing their musical projects, their ears will be a little bit more tuned to what's going on with the music, and they'll be able to make adjustments with the projects at hand," Gipson said.
For Gipson, he is aware of how valuable it is to provide an authentic learning experience for his students.
"I want them to enjoy doing this," Gipson said. "I want my students to be able to hone these skills and apply what they've learned as far as listening to their mixing and mastering projects."
The Dalton Education Foundation awarded Gipson a $1,200 grant that allowed him to purchase the necessary equipment to enhance the classroom experience for his students. Some of the things that Gipson purchased were chladni plates, tuning forks, acoustic levitators, a tesla coil and a mechanical wave driver.
Gipson will be presenting his science of sound exhibit presentation at the Impacting Student Learning Conference in Augusta, Georgia on February 29th, 2020. Many teachers and administrators from all over the state of Georgia will be traveling to this event. Gibson is hopeful that the educators will gain a newfound understanding on how his sound equipment works.
"I'm going to present my science of sound exhibit the same way I teach my classes," Gipson said. "It's going to be a hands on presentation and I'm going to demonstrate how this technology works and where I got it from. They'll be able to try out the experiments for themselves and be able to share what they've learned with their students if they so choose."
Gipson expressed his sincere gratitude to the Dalton Education Foundation for choosing his grant out of many submissions. He looks forward to the future and the possibility of being able to expand to provide more resources for his classroom.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity of being able to do this, receiving the grant and being able to buy the things I need for my science of sound exhibit," Gipson said. "I look forward to advancing because there's a whole lot more stuff out there that I want to do and grow on.