Page 71 - Winter2018
P. 71

Sound Perspectives
Tracianne B. Neilsen
Brigham Young University N311 ESC Provo, Utah 84097 USA
L. Keeta Jones
Education and Outreach Coordinator Acoustical Society of America 1305 Walt Whitman Road Suite 300 Melville, New York 11747-4300 USA
“Listen Up! And Get Involved!”
The first goal of the Women in Acoustics (WIA) Committee (WIAC) of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA; Isakson, 2010; Ronsse, 2017) starts “to con- sider the special problems of attracting women to acoustics at all levels of the educational process....” (See for a complete list of the WIA goals.) In 2008, the WIAC began considering possible outreach activities that its members could do at each national ASA meeting to help local girls. Because the daughters of some of the WIAC members participate in local troops, the Girl Scouts of America was selected as the primary recruitment venue for an acoustics outreach session called “Listen Up! And Get Involved!” These events have now been held with Girl Scouts at 10 national meetings and with the Girl Guides at 2 meetings in Canada.
The “Listen Up! And Get Involved!” session was designed to meet the following goals.
 1. Give girls the opportunity to interact with female scientists, engineers, and professors. By giving girls the chance of seeing and working with these women role models, the girls may start to think about pursuing such paths for themselves.
2. Expose girls to the wide range of careers that use acoustics. Most girls have a limited perception of available careers and thus have not considered many of the opportunities that are encompassed by the ASA.
3. Allow the girls to feel the excitement of science as they discover and de- velop an understanding of basic acoustic principles such as the properties of waves, the power of resonance behavior, and how these apply to their everyday experiences.
4. Promote the girls’ confidence as they successfully conduct small experiments and explore the equipment used to analyze sound.
Since its inauguration at the Spring 2010 ASA Meeting in Baltimore, MD, 12 “Lis- ten Up! And Get Involved!” sessions have relied heavily on the outstanding sup- port of ASA volunteers. Although the volunteers have been primarily members of WIAC, professional and student ASA members (both men and women) from all technical areas have assisted in making these outreach sessions successful. The volunteers have shared their enthusiasm with the girls as they have engaged in conversations about how everyday experiences with sound are part of the larger world of acoustics and the potential for a career exploring these amazing phe- nomena.
The volunteers help the girls explore topics, which include some physical prin- ciple of sound such as resonance, but most of the stations center on real-world applications such as speech, hearing, musical instruments, and echolocation. A full list of the stations and demonstrations is provided by Vongsawad et al. (2014). To offer all 12 topic areas requires a minimum of 15 volunteers. In addition to the ASA-provided demonstrations, members regularly bring their own materials to share specific aspects of their research and interests. Examples of past member- supplied demonstrations include a ripple tank, a soundscape ecology demonstra- tion, whale songs, acoustic levitation, and active noise control (Figure 1). (Con-
©2018 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved. volume 14, issue 4 | Winter 2018 | Acoustics Today | 69

   69   70   71   72   73