How Loud is Too Loud: Introducing Logarithms through Sound

When introducing logarithms we look at how decibels levels around us impact our environment and how we live. Students use the following template, a whistle, and the Decibel X app from the App Store.


Decibel X app

Students record how loud a whistle is from various spots on a football field and record the decibel readings from the app. Students record the data, plot points, and answer the questions in the Numbers app and then we share out large group about what is going on in our graph.


Students plotting points and collecting data.

Here is some example data that a student collected.


Example Student


All Comments

Posted on April 14, 2023

I love this active learning activity and the beautiful worksheet for the students to record their data. Thank you for sharing. I will likely adapt this for some of my music courses using instruments of the marching band to see which instruments carry stronger than others over the distance and investigating the variables of pitch/frequency and timbre/complexity for any differences.

Great stuff here, Trever! 👍🏻

Posted on May 18, 2023

Thanks. That would be a great extension!

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