Middle school students at the Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield showcased their musical talents and engineering design skills recently during a combined class project through which they built and played musical instruments using materials found at home.
The project was coordinated by Engineering Teacher Dr. John Heffernan and Pioneer Music Teacher Maki Matsui. According to Heffernan, students learned about the ways each type of instrument functions, and used their math and science skills to design the instruments to play a high, medium and low note and perform “Hot Cross Buns.”
“There are several different types of pitched drums, and some cool wind instrument ideas using anything from straws to carrots,” Matsui said. “I love that this project uses found objects from home. When I scroll through the students’ design ideas and see Lego pieces and jelly cups and even some contents from the refrigerator, I feel really tickled.”