06 Mission Instructions

2. Design: Amplifier

If you are going to time something important — your brownies in the oven, your five minutes to finish your math facts, a nap — you want to make sure you know when your time is up. This month, we are going to use a piezoelectric buzzer to produce sound to alert you (and anyone else who is nearby) when your timer is finished. The buzzer we sent you is pretty loud, but your design challenge is to figure out how to make it even louder! 

When a buzzer or a speaker or anything else makes noise, the sound travels outwards from the source of the sound as waves. Those sound waves spread out into the room. Some are absorbed by walls or furniture, and some make it to your ears. If you want to make something louder, you want to make sure more of those sound waves make it to your ears. If you yell into a megaphone, the megaphone walls take the sound waves you create and point them in one direction, making you louder. 

When you attach your buzzer to your GoPiGo, you can include something to focus the sound, just like a megaphone focuses the sound of your voice. You may want to consider using a plastic or Styrofoam cup, tin foil shaped into a cone, or another recycled material. Make sure your plan includes a way for the wire from the buzzer to connect back to the GoPiGo. 

Sketch your plan on a piece of paper.