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STEM students examine accordions to learn about sound on Mars

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

Several ATG members teamed up with educators at the University of Illinois Chicago to produce a program called “Science of Sound” for the school’s “Energy Resources Center STEM Scholars.” ATG also provided accordions and donated time for follow-up lessons for several of the students.

Twelve STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Math) students attended an online program on April 15 that gave an overview of the science behind the sounds made on a variety of instruments--primarily the accordion.

In the session, students learned the basics of accordions, how to play them, and learned the science behind sound. Frank Busso Jr., Director of Titano Accordions North America, showed students the various parts that compose accordions, explaining how each reed vibrates to create sound. Reeds of different sizes generate different sounds. Once students were familiar with accordions, Joan Sommers, Professor Emeritus of the University of Missouri Kansas City, Conservatory of Music provided an introductory session on how to play the accordion. Lastly, Peter Godart, Ph.D. candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Co-Director of Space for Action, explained the basics of what sound is and how sound differs on Mars.

“They loved it,” says Steffen Mueller, Ph.D. of the participants. Mueller is the Principal Economist for the Energy Resources Center. He is also an accordionist and student of Mary Ann Covone. “We would like to do another program in person as things open,” he says. Mueller credits his colleagues Caroline Hernandez and Klaudia Kuklinska, the Program Managers for the STEM Scholars with planning and incorporating this successful session that fit so well with others the Center offers.

"Science of Sound" video from the UIC Energy Resources Center

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