This is an easy and fun hands-on experiment that my students always enjoy! Students create cup phones using different materials to figure out which types of materials allow sound to be transmitted the best.
Supplies are easy to find. I always like to add an extra few into the mix for the students who finish early and have more time to experiment: plastic cups, yarn of various thicknesses, and extra string/fishing line/ribbon for students to cut at different lengths. Student groups share the materials so I don’t have to purchase as many.
- paper cups
- Styrofoam cups
- thick fishing line
- thin fishing line
- paper clips
This activity aligns to NGSS Science Standards:
MS-PS4-2: Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
1-PS4-4: Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance.
Related Topics: Waves, Sound, Medium, Longitudinal, Amplitude, Laboratory Experiment, Variables, Transmit, Absorb, Transmission, Absorption
Answer Key Included