Montana State University

PHSX 591-801: The Science of Sound

The Office of Continuing Education at Extended University offers both face-to-face and online learning opportunities:

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Mar 14-Apr 22, 2016
Credit: 1 graduate
Instructor(s): Jim Vanides

Course Description

CRN 34841
In this exciting six 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. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week to stay current and successfully complete this 1 credit 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 currently a Program Manager in Philanthropy for Hewlett-Packard, responsible for worldwide higher education - education technology grant initiatives ( He holds a BS in Engineering and a MA in Education, both from Stanford University.


Bachelor's degree, experience teaching hands-on science.

Target Audience

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

Time Commitment:

6-8 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, please see the MSU Online Only Tuition and Fees (PDF) table.

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 or will be shipped from NTEN if needed.

Computer Requirements:

  • Computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or newer or Mac OS X.5 (Leopard) or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Internet access

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

For More Information

For more information contact Lisa Brown at

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.

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