Sunday, September 13, 2015

Exhibit Designer Toolbox: Online Tone Generator and AAPT Films

What do websites geared toward Physics Teachers have to do with developing or designing exhibits?

Well, on the surface, nothing!  But I recently bumped into two different physics-oriented websites that I think are worth bookmarking for any museum exhibit designer.

The first site is called Online Tone Generator.  It is a multi-faceted site filled with a variety of audio tools available for testing and/or download.   Some of my favorite apps on the OTG site include the "Hearing Test" which lets you generate different frequency tones to determine the range of your hearing.  (As we age, we tend to lose our ability to hear high frequency sounds.)  Simple and clean, I could easily see adapting "Hearing Test" for exhibit or program demo purposes.

The "Pitch Shifter" tool allows you to change the pitch of audio files (mp3 or wav format), without affecting the tempo. You can also save the pitch shifted files you create.  Again, this tool would be great for creating audio files for an exhibit or program.  So click on over to the Online Tone Generator site to explore the dozen or so FREE audio tools available there.

The other online tool is Physics Teacher James Lincoln's YouTube channel hosting a set of short videos called AAPT Films.   The films break down into sections, with one set called "TRY THIS EXPERIMENT NOW" which are short, punchy videos that let you perform quick (and unusual!) science demonstrations or experiments.

Two of my favorites are the "Eye Poke" video, which let's you recreate one of Sir Isaac Newton's classic experiments involving optics and the human eye.  Another fun one is the "Hear Your Muscles" video (embedded below) which demonstrates a simple techniques that anyone can use to "hear" your own muscles moving or flexing.  Cool stuff!

There are also more standard Physics classroom demonstrations featured on Lincoln's YouTube channel, but for anyone working to develop simple programs or exhibits on the Human Body, Lincoln's YouTube channel is a real gold mine of information and inspiration!

Speaking of information and inspiration, are there some particularly useful or interesting websites or online resources that you keep in your own Designer's Toolbox?   Please share in the "Comments Section" below!

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