John Bapst students to conduct sound survey

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- To make learning fun for his students, one teacher at John Bapst Memorial High School is finding problems his kids can solve in their community. Mr. Gorman's latest project might involve his students having to listen to the Dave Matthews Concert at the Waterfront Concert Series Friday night. And it's an assignment anyone heading to the concert, or within earshot could take up too.

"We're measuring the decibels of different areas in and around Bangor and surrounding areas to see how loud the concerts are," explained John Bapst Junior and Student Senate President Julia Leslie.

Jeremiah Gorman teaches cultural geography. For this assignment He's created a Facebook page for a sound survey study and found a free smart phone app that turns your phone into a sound meter

"We've been looking for solvable civic problems looking for things we can engage in and actively make a difference in the community," explained Mr. Gorman

"It's definitely relevant, in the town that we're in it's an issue," explained Diego Grossmann, a Junior at John Bapst and the Vice President of the Student Environmental Action Committee.

The students or anyone wanting to participate would need to go the Bangor Concert Sound Survey Facebook page where there are instructions to download the decibel app onto their smart phones. They can then use that app to record decibel levels and post the to another page set up to collect the data.

Smartphones may not be a substitute for professional sound equipment, nor is this survey a substitute for a controlled scientific study, but Mr. Gorman and his students hope this project will enhance the research the city is already doing.
And at the very least it is empowering students to help solve problems where they live.

"So here we have students who are engaged in the community who are solving real problems that they care about and on top of that they get to go out and walk around at night and listen to Dave Matthews and have an excuse to do it which would be nice."

The city is spending $25 thousand dollars on a professional sound study that is ongoing. Officials say they are not sure how much weight they could put into this survey because they have concerns about the accuracy of the smartphone apps, but they do applaud the effort of the teacher and students and plan to review their data.


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