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Make a Whistle & Be a “Whistle Blower”

3D model description

### #Make a Whistle and Be a “Whistle Blower”

#### #This is a STEM education project. The goal is to explore the whistle mechanism (edge tone) instead of making a lifelike whistle.

The whistle seems to be a simple yet complex design project. Mathematically it is simply made up of a cylinder and a rectangle box, with an opening and, perhaps, a ball inside. The challenge is: How can one design a whistle that actually makes some sound or even works in the way expected?

It proves to be a messy process. Imagine it, design it, and print it out. Most probably, it won’t work as expected. That is why this stands as an inquiry lesson in a STEM class.

A few years ago, I tried it and designed a few whistles that did not quite work. Recently, I decided to take on the idea again, encouraged by the ideas of a group of students. Below is a summary of my efforts. Of course, there are always other ways to approach this STEM project.

### #Summary of My Efforts.
1. Without checking any reference, I imagined a whistle as, I think, I know, and made a sketch in terms of its measurements and basic structure.
2. I tried an opening of random width( about 2.5mm) and played with the position of the edge/blade.
3. I realized that the width opening matters! Then, I made a few whistles with various width from 10mm to 4mm. They all work! For me, the 4mm version sounds the best.
4. I did some search and found a page about “edge tone” (see reference)
5. I decided to make a whistle with adjustable opening.
6. The game is not over yet; more to think about when I have time.

Among the Files

  1. A whistle with a long neck and two versions of a slider for opening adjustment. ** I manipulated the neck so it can be printed without support**
  2. Six whistles of specific opening widths, ranging from 2mm to 16mm. The 2mm version does not quite work.


  • 3D model format: STL



STEAM educator, learning from and working with K-12 STEAM teachers to explore new ideas of teaching and engagement. I firmly believe ART is at the core of STEM learning or all human learning! I owe my ideas and designs to the hundreds of K-12 children and teachers and university professors I have had the pleasure of working with, in multiple disciplines-- math, science,engineering language arts, social studies, early childhood education and more! All mistakes, of course, are mine! There is no warranty or liability whatsoever implied or explicit behind the designs or ideas. They are all posted for their potential educational values.

When working with children, please strictly observe all safety and health procedures! Please refer to the NSTA safety guides:




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