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Hearing and Sound

Students will predict which cup and string match will make the best telephone.
Students will create cup and string telephones and test their predictions.

Major Understandings Physical Setting 3.1C, 4.2b
Living Environment 3.1a

plastic cups of 2 different sizes
paper cups of 2 different sizes
styrofoam cups of 2 different sizes
string (2 different thicknesses)
(teacher will punch holes in cups)

1. Read a book about sound and hearing. (e.g. Hearing by Parramon M. Parramon, 1985)

2. Show students a sample cup and string telephone and let them hear that it really works.

3. Tell students they are going to work in groups and create a cup and string telephone using the materials and are going to decide which one conducts sound the best. Each piece of string will be the same size (6 feet).

4. Before beginning each person must predict which combination will be the best conductor and why.

5. Each group will be assigned two different pairs of cups and must put together the cup and string telephone. Teacher will provide direction so everyone is working at the same pace. a) cut string so it is 6 feet long; explain that the ruler is 1 foot long and model how they should measure it b) put the string through the holes in the cups c) bring to teacher so she can knot both sides d) test your string and cup telephones

6. They must then decide which of the two combinations is better than the other at conducting sound. That telephone will move onto the final round.

6. During the final round, all the telephones that made it will be judged by everyone in the class. Voting will be done on the voting sheet made as students decide which combinations make it to the final round.

7. After graphing the votes on chart paper, discuss the results and why they turned out the way they did.