Investigating Sound: The String Telephone


Which string carries sound best?

On our last day of investigating sound, I released the kids to explore a topic of their choice.  A few kids chose to make another instrument (using a different sound source), but for the most part, everyone became fascinated with the string telephone project.

Seeing they were captivated by this common childhood project, I stepped in with a new challenge: Does it matter the size of the string?  Is there a difference when you use a thinner or thicker string?  We began a Scientific Method sheet.


We designed our experiment, making a plan to poke holes in plastic cups and threading the string through the hole.  We had to locate three different sized strings. We made some predictions, but the best part is carrying out the plan – testing the hypothesis with the actual experiment.

Listening for Sound Quality

An exciting project, even the first graders got interested.  They sat down on the benches, watching the Magical Minds test each string. When we left for lunch, we let the first graders give it a try as well.

Scientists with an Audience

Our (unanimous) conclusion was…I don’t want to give it away.

What do you think the difference was?

Do you have a favorite sound experiment?


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