She's a Scientist: Lily Wang
An acoustical engineer studies classrooms to help students learn better.
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- [00:00:00.090](upbeat music)
- [00:00:04.730]Just how quiet, well-lit,
- [00:00:06.600]and comfortable is a typical classroom
- [00:00:09.610]and how do these conditions affect student performance?
- [00:00:13.400]These are questions Professor Lily Wang wants to answer.
- [00:00:17.210]We went into 200 classrooms in the Omaha and Lincoln area
- [00:00:22.600]and basically deployed environmental kits
- [00:00:25.350]to measure the acoustics, the lighting conditions,
- [00:00:28.020]the thermal and the indoor air quality.
- [00:00:31.060]The equipment that I'm working with is the lighting side
- [00:00:34.480]of the measurement,
- [00:00:35.313]so looking at how the lighting within the classroom
- [00:00:40.100]is affecting the learning of these students.
- [00:00:42.990]People have done studies on lighting
- [00:00:44.490]and people have done studies on acoustics in classrooms
- [00:00:46.760]and people have done studies
- [00:00:47.710]on indoor air quality in classrooms
- [00:00:49.430]and thermal conditions in classrooms,
- [00:00:51.280]but nobody's really put it all together,
- [00:00:54.630]and that's something that's really pretty special
- [00:00:57.550]about this project.
- [00:00:58.840]Wang's team collected environmental data
- [00:01:01.250]from more than 200 classrooms over several years.
- [00:01:05.200]They found a correlation
- [00:01:06.530]between acoustics and academic success.
- [00:01:10.010]And there are moments between, you know,
- [00:01:12.160]when the teacher's talking
- [00:01:13.040]when there's not much speech going on.
- [00:01:16.330]Whatever those non-speech levels are,
- [00:01:18.560]the higher they are, the worse the students are doing
- [00:01:21.290]on their math achievement scores.
- [00:01:23.100]We did find that.
- [00:01:24.921]The inside of the skull.
- [00:01:27.180]Before teaching acoustical engineering
- [00:01:29.260]at Nebraska,
- [00:01:30.110]Wang dreamed of designing concert halls.
- [00:01:32.820]I still have yet to design a concert hall,
- [00:01:35.670]but I found a better position,
- [00:01:37.640]which was to be a professor
- [00:01:39.460]and teach about how sound behaves in buildings
- [00:01:42.750]and sound in other spaces that are much more occupied,
- [00:01:46.080]like schools and offices and hospitals,
- [00:01:49.450]that we can impact a lot more people
- [00:01:51.370]and their experience in buildings
- [00:01:52.750]if we look at these more common uses.
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