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K-12 Education

The 3 acoustical criteria for design and construction of K-12 Education, for better learning environments, and LEED.




Teaching is all about communication. Are you able to communicate the material in myriad ways to help students of a variety of learning styles grasp the concepts? Not everyone understands everything in the same way. Erik GeigerErik Geiger, CTS-D, has designed and consulted on audio, video, and technical systems for over 20 years. He has […]




by Mindy Tangney on May 17, 2012

One of the great things about being part of the local architecture and engineering industry is giving back to the students in our community who have an interest in the same field. For the last three years I have been a volunteer with The Academy of Design and Construction at Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Union […]




“It depends.” This is probably my most frequent response we give when people ask a tech-related question. Why? Because the answer to the question will vary depending on circumstances, factors, and requirements. So when someone asks, “What’s the best AV technology to put into a classroom?” My answer usually is, “It depends.” What we first […]




Every year my nieces’ elementary school has a winter concert in their gym. Excited kids from all grade levels file into one side of the gym while the parents and friends squeeze into every remaining space. It’s wonderful to see all the kids singing so proudly, but it gets very difficult to hear the music […]




Many high school students have never heard of the “acoustical engineering” field so when local student Jordan Van Buskirk  (a Senior at Western Michigan Christian High School) asked his teacher about jobs that have to do with acoustics, it was a first for the school. After being contacted by Joyce Workman, Director of Advancement at […]




Multi-use school facilities (such as “cafetoriums” – cafeterias that double as auditoriums) are popping up all over Michigan because they save space and save money. But many schools are finding that they are not well-suited to serve multiple purposes. So how can multi-use facilities be optimized for both utility (think cafeteria) and performance (think auditorium)? […]




One of the transitions that we are watching closely in the audio-visual Industry is the evolution of audio and video delivery over networks instead of through dedicated distribution systems. In the consumer world you may have noticed that some TV networks are starting to stream things like major sporting events from their websites, or you […]




In the world of sales idioms, you never want to compare “apples with oranges”, but you always want the salesperson to “sharpen their pencil.” You don’t want to compare two unlike things, but you do want to make sure you get the best possible price. So, in the world of audio-video design, how do you […]




Kids today have it all: the cell phone, the iPod, the iPad, the internet, digital cameras, video games, laptops – ahhh!!! With all this stimuli, teachers have to battle to win the ever-decreasing attention spans of their students. And any teacher knows the statistics of how students learn: most of what they get their hands […]




It’s 7pm on Friday night in the middle of September. You’re sitting down with your significant other to a nice refreshing beverage on your back porch. All is calm. It’s a beautiful evening. Suddenly a not-so-distant voice floats through your backyard let you know that #58 has just tackled #23 on the 35 yard line. […]




The phrase “Equal Access” might not be very exciting, but it represents what many perceive to be a fundamental right of modern society. Every building built in the last 20 years has personified “Equal Access” by including doors wide enough for a wheelchair, elevator signage with braille lettering for blind persons, and auditoriums with hearing […]




The orchestra that I play in used to perform at local public schools. The high school auditoria that we regularly used were so-so for acoustics, but we learned to appreciate them when a scheduling conflict bumped us to a junior high school for one concert. This auditorium ceiling was treated with a spray-on absorbing material […]




The LEED® green building certification program gives out points for naturally ventilating buildings, and it also gives out points for acoustics – especially for low levels of background noise levels. As the industry is finding out, naturally ventilated buildings create more opportunities for buildings to be penetrated by exterior noises, thus creating unintended loud background […]




On a beautiful autumn day a long time ago, I was on a glorious backpacking trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. One still morning while rinsing off in Little Beaver Lake, I was alarmed to hear voices that sounded very near, as I was sporting my birthday suit. After quickly sinking […]




The education methods used in today’s universities are rapidly changing, and as the methods change, so does the architecture. The big buzz right now is creating “collaborative spaces for learning“. Traditional push down models of teacher-to-student lectures are being supplemented by a new focus on interactivity and, there’s that buzz word again, collaboration. So what […]




Gymnasiums often end up being multi-use spaces. Of course, they are used for competitive sporting events, for team practice, recreation, and for Phys Ed classes. But they are also used for school addresses, commencement ceremonies, band and choir concerts, and more. Those with stages are used for musicals, plays, and speaking events. I have been […]




As the VGA connector continues its rapid transition towards obsolescence (referred to in Part I of this post) many people simply assume that using adapters (such as HDMI to VGA) will solve the digital-to-analog connectivity problem. While this may work in the short term, it ignores the looming problem of DRM (Digital Rights Management), a […]




Have you ever noticed how some sounds catch your attention and others do not? For example, you are driving down the road thinking of your plans for the day and all of a sudden you hear a squeak in the dashboard. It draws your attention immediately, while the air conditioning fan likely does not. The […]




My church recently decided to upgrade from our old analog mixing board to a brand new digital mixing console. The interesting part of this process was that they did not buy it through a local AV contractor. They purchased the sound board online through a company that specializes in phone and internet box sales. This […]




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