Energy Transfer in Musical Instruments

This lesson covers concepts of energy and energy transfer, with a focus on energy transfer in musical instruments. More specifically, students learn the two different ways in which energy can be transferred between a system and its environment. The law of conservation of energy is also described. Example systems are presented (two cars on a track and a tennis ball falling to the ground) and students make predictions and explain the energy transfer mechanisms. The engineering focus becomes clear in the associated activity when students apply the concepts learned in the lesson to design musical instruments. The systems analyzed in the lesson help in discussing how to apply conservation of energy and energy transfer to make things.