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Redwood Discovery Museum sound garden

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ENGR215 Project Page in Progress
This page is a project page in progress by students in Engr215. Please refrain from making edits unless you are a member of the project team, but feel free to make comments using the discussion tab. Check back for the finished version on CHANGE THIS TO THE DATE OF FINALS WEEk.

Final Sound Garden Design


The purpose of the Sound Garden is to demonstrate to the user the physical relationships between wavelength and sound in a safe, interactive, and understandable way. The Sound Garden satisfies the weighted criteria specified by the client for building a PVC xylophone-like musical exhibit. Designed by The Engineers That Could, The Sound Garden is a musical addition to the Redwood Discovery Museum's collection of wave-related exhibits. The design is a fun, appealing way for museum-goers of all ages learn about the physics of the sound. The Engineers designed the project for their Engineering 215 - Introduction to Design class at Humboldt State University.


Ken Pinkerton from the Redwood Discovery Museum in Eureka, CA asked for an exhibit that will educate kids about the physical nature of sound.

Problem statement and criteria[edit]

The Redwood Discovery Museum needed a new musical exhibit to demonstrate the relationships between physics and sound. The objective of the Sound Garden project was to sustainably create and implement a new exhibit that was safe, educational, and appealed to all ages.

Description of final project[edit]

The Sound Garden is an instrument that displays the relationships between physics and sound. The exhibit uses varying pipe length in order to achieve desired notes. Re-purposed rubber spatulas are used as playing mallets. The display can be split in half for easy transport, and can be secured together with brass latches.


Quantity Material Source Cost ($) Total ($)
1 Schedule 40 1-1/4" PVC Pipe Pierson Hardware 5.99 5.99
49 Schedule 40 1-1/4" PVC - 45 degree align="right"| 1.29 63.21
13 Schedule 40 1-1/4" PVC - 90 degree align="right"| 1.29 16.77
13 Schedule 40 1-1/4" PVC connectors - Straight align="right"| 0.69 8.97
2 10-24 x1-1/4" Truss screws (100 ct.) align="right"| 7.99 15.98
2 10-24 x1-1/4" Nuts (100 ct.) Pierson Hardware 2 5.79
1 Washers (100 ct.) Pierson Hardware 2.99 2.99
4 L-Brackets Pierson Hardware 0.89 3.56
4 Draw Catches Pierson Hardware 3.49 13.96
4 Hitch Pins Pierson Hardware 0.40 1.60
1 Primer Pierson Hardware 10.34 10.34
8 Paint Pierson Hardware 4.49 35.92
1 Primer Pierson Hardware 10.34 10.34
8 Paint Pierson Hardware 4.49
Total Cost $246.60

Testing Results[edit]

The Sound Garden is currently on display at the Redwood Discovery Museum. The staff is excited to officially open the exhibit on Tuesday December 5th, 2017.

How to build[edit]

Use Template:How_to


With proper maintenance, the Sound Garden is expected to last 20 years.


This is when to maintain what.

  • Visually inspect exhibit for loose pipes or damage

  • Inspect playing caps, mallets, and draw catches for damage

  • check for loose bolts

  • Inspect tubes and frame for wear

Every 10 years
  • Re-coat stain


This is how to maintain. The step by step how to template {{How to}} is most likely best for this part.

How to Do Something
Backpack frame bike trailer Step 1 : Assess the display for loose parts.
Aleiha's parabolic solar cooker Step 2 : Secure loose parts.


This is only how to troubleshoot basic operation. For complex issues, the solution might just say contact ________. It should be a table in this format:

Problem Suggestion
Pipes are not going into elbow assembly Loosen bracket
Notes are not playing clearly Inspect connection between elbow assembly and vertical pipes

Discussion and next steps[edit]

The Team hopes that kids visiting the museum will learn about the correlation of music and physics through the Sound Garden. The Sound Garden teaches this through ineractive use of the  different color coded pipes that vary in length as well as an educational music book that goes along with the musical instrument.

Suggestions for future changes[edit]

This is where to lay out suggestions for how to make the project function better in the future.


See Help:Footnotes for more.