Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 2 hours / session


The point of this class is to have a good time while we learn the fundamentals of electronics and acoustics. Most high school students never learn much about electronics, and those who do might find it uninteresting without exploring an exciting application like audio. A good plan is to build an actual audio-related project as a class. In 2006 (the first time I taught this course) our class designed and built a pair of bookshelf type speakers on a $200 budget. That worked well, although this year we will be open to a wider range of project ideas, from subwoofers to horns and 3-way systems, and possibly even electronics instead of speakers. I teach this course in a small comfortable classroom, the "student project laboratory" at the MIT's Edgerton Center.

You might notice that I have left the second part of the syllabus intentionally vague (though it does suggest a speaker/crossover project). Except for a couple of fundamental topics like electronic construction techniques and audio measurements, I will pick out most of our activities (and our construction project) based on the wishes of the students. The students will probably learn how music reproduction works, how to build simple circuits, and how to design and build their own speakers. We won't be afraid to use the latest technology in computer-aided design and speaker components.


There are no grades for this course.

The Program

This course was offered through the High School Studies Program (HSSP), a project of the MIT Educational Studies Program. HSSP offers non-credit, enrichment courses to 7th–12th grade students on Sundays at MIT. This program is designed to give these students a chance to take courses in a wide variety of topics. Courses cover both academic and non-academic subjects. The classes are designed to be fun and interesting for students and to offer them an opportunity to learn about something in which they're interested.