Hello Moogsters! I write with great news about the science education initiatives at the Bob Moog Foundation. We have shifted our focus towards one very ambitious and exciting project for the 2011-12 academic year, and have been working furiously with a core group of educator volunteers to make it happen. As part of this new focus and direction, we’ve moved away from the name “MoogLab” and are now calling our school-based efforts “Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool.” This new name aligns with one of our goals: to introduce students to Bob Moog as a friendly model of how to use science to be creative.
The first students to experience Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool will be the second graders in the Asheville City Schools. This new partnership establishes Asheville Schools as the showcase for SoundSchool, where we will introduce new initiatives and continually evaluate existing ones. In this first year, we are working with second graders as this is the grade where North Carolina specifies that students should be introduced to the physics of sound. We have developed a full curriculum to teach physics of sound using synthesizers, as well as lessons about how to be good scientific observers taken directly from Bob’s science notebooks.
Another important part of this new SoundSchool initiative is the teachers. We have created teacher training materials which will ensure that this is a self-sustaining project. Teachers will be empowered to share SoundSchool with their students for years to come!
All of our efforts over this school year will be carefully monitored so that we can formally evaluate the effectiveness of Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool. This means that we will have some classrooms using the SoundSchool materials, and comparison classrooms that will use the traditional materials for this first year. All students, SoundSchool and the comparison group, will be given pre- and post-tests of their knowledge of physics of sound, as well as their ability to interact with the information in creative ways. We will use the data we collect to improve SoundSchool, and then introduce it into other school districts, first within North Carolina and then across the country.
I hope you share my enthusiasm for this new inception of The Bob Moog Foundation’s education initiatives. This is a strong project design, which will allow us to educate and inspire students for years to come.
Watch what happened when Dr. Bob’s Sound School came to Claxton Elementary School in Asheville, NC.
Jonna Kwiatkowski, PhD – Dr. Bob’s SoundSchool Project Coordinator
Jonna is an experimental psychologist with 15 years experience in creativity and aesthetics research. Her philosophy is that creativity exists in every mind, and is unleashed when people are given the opportunity to feel their creative thought in action, to understand how they access their creative potential. She has led national, grant-funded research initiatives to understand creativity in grade school and high school students, including projects with the Department of Education and the College Board. In her primary research, she has investigated the creative mind using EEG and other cognitive techniques. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Mars Hill College, loving living in Asheville, and especially collaborating with the Bob Moog Foundation.