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 WMCHS, Acoustics By Design proposed a project centered around a problematic space for the school.

By working with an existing space, both Jordan and the school would benefit from the job shadow opportunity; Jordan was even able to get credit for a physics class by completing the project.  Jordan worked with Tim Koldenhoven of Acoustics By Design and identified the gymnasium as a space that needed improvements.  Not knowing what to expect, Jordan showed up on time and ready to learn.

With Tim’s help, Jordan measured the existing reverberation time in the gymnasium, created computer models for analysis, researched room acoustical concepts, and completed a report including recommendations for improvements.

“The goal of the project was to introduce Jordan to acoustical consulting and help him to understand why the job is important.  We wanted to go above the typical “job shadow” opportunity and let him experience the total project rather than just observing a daily activity or task.  Jordan experienced every aspect of the project from coordination to testing to analysis to the completion of a report.”
Tim Koldenhoven, Engineer at Acoustics By Design.

“So many times we tell students ‘learn this or learn that,’ yet they don’t fully understand the why?” said Joyce Workman, Director of Advancement at WMCHS. “It certainly provides a huge boost to ‘what do want to be when I grow up!’” Workman went on to describe the power of local business Job Shadow opportunities. “And the best part,” she said, “Jordan came away feeling affirmed in his future career choice!”

“It was a great experience and I’m very thankful for how this report turned out as well as the exposure to acoustics I received,” said Jordan, who plans to learn more about acoustical engineering in college.

ABD Engineering and Design

ABD Engineering and Design is one of North America’s leading independent acoustical consulting and AV design firms, serving clients across the United States and Canada, as well as other international markets from offices in Grand Rapids, MI and Portland, OR. Our specialized acoustical engineering and AV design practices help architects, building owners, engineers, facility directors, and municipalities design spaces, environments, and systems for optimal acoustical and audiovisual performance. Our consulting practice areas specialize in all aspects of architectural acoustics, environmental and industrial noise and vibration control, and audiovisual systems design.

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