Mar 11-Apr 26, 2019
Credit: 2 graduate
Instructor(s): Jim Vanides

Course Description

Registration begins on October 29th - please register for CRN 35379.
In this exciting seven-week online course we will investigate principles of Sound. Conducting and observing hands-on, “ears-on” science is easy and fun! You will record the principles you learn in a science notebook and share your investigations with other teachers through collaborative assignments and weekly discussions. This is a course that allows you to play as you learn.

By participating in this course, you will...
  • Have a clearer conceptual understanding of how sound works and what it is.
  • Know how to examine sounds by looking at the whole "sound system" (force vibration, medium, receiver).
  • Learn about sound energy and how it moves through a medium.
  • Examine how the properties of materials affect the sounds you hear.
  • Learn about ears and how they work.
  • Experience the true Scientific Method and collaboration.

This is a conceptual physics course that is designed especially for Elementary teachers with little or no formal training in science. Teachers with significant previous experience teaching physical science are welcome, but are encouraged to contact NTEN for more information.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers login to the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. This course is designed as a “cohort” of learners with scheduled assignments each week. With a compressed semester, the course is fast-paced, so it is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week; to get the most out of this course and the asynchronous group discussions, expect to spend about 8-10 hours per week to complete this 1 credit graduate course.


Jim Vanides, MA. Jim developed the Science of Sound course for Montana State in 2003, based on numerous science workshops for teachers that he led as part of NSF-funded initiatives in California. He is an advocate for STEM education, serving on numerous advisory boards including the California STEM Network and the California Science Project. Jim is active in the STEM Ed community via Twitter (, and he is a part-time musician who appreciates the artistic application of the science of sound. He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.


Bachelor's degree, experience teaching.

Target Audience

This course is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who teach science in their classrooms.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table below:

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Required Books/Materials

  • Materials will be found in D2L and Montana State University will ship you a kit of materials shortly before the course begins.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.
  • A smartphone (to use free sound measurement apps and to document your experience through photography) is highly recommended.

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

about the course content contact Jim Vanides at, or Kelly Boyce at - (800) 282-6062 for questions about registration policies and other administrative details.

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.