Welcome back to Science Invitation Saturday! Last week we explored the surface tension of water using paperclips. Today we decided to make our own musical instrument~ a kazoo~ and hypothesize about sound in the process.
- cardboard tube
- wax paper
- sharp pencil (or other sharp object) to poke holes
- paint or other art supplies to decorate your kazoo (optional)
- Cover the end of your cardboard tube with wax paper. Secure it with a rubberband.
- Poke a hole in the side of the tube using the sharp pencil or other sharp object (I used the poky end of a candy thermometer.)
- Put the open end of the tube up to your mouth and hum or say “do” over and over and to make the kazoo sound. (This took some practice, but we finally got the hang of it.)
- Decorate it if you’d like!
Questions to Spark More Curiosity & Critical Thinking:
What do you hear? What do you think is causing the sounds? Do the sounds change when you hum different tunes?
Lucy’s theory~ “I think my voice is hitting the wax paper and coming back to me.”
Want to go even further?
Even more activities to inspire creativity and critical thinking for various ages.
- Try varying the length of the kazoo using different sized tubes. Do they sound the same of different?
- Poke more holes in the sides of your kazoo. Does covering the holes change the sounds you make?
- Try changing the material you cover your tube with (saran wrap or parchment paper for instance.) Do any other materials work better? Why or why not?
Explanation: The wax paper vibrates from the sound of your voice, amplifying it.