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Cup Speaker

Going Further

  • Try making your speaker as loud as possible.
  • Try using different-sized cups.
  • Try something other than a paper cup, like a paper plate or a small piece of cardboard.
  • Try different-sized magnets, or more or fewer coils of wire.
  • Try making a set of homemade headphones.
  • Attach the headphone output to a DC motor. Hold the motor in your teeth and listen to the music.
  • Have other people listen to your ears while you do this and see if they, too, can hear the music.
  • Did you know? A motor contains coils of wire and magnets, just like a speaker. Holding the motor in your teeth vibrates your skull and ears, so you and others can hear it as sound.

Background Science

Polar Opposites
An activity that teaches about how the earth is a magnet, with magnetic north and south poles.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/theworld/iceland/magnetism.html
Ages: Educators

Get Your Motor Running
Investigate motors and electromagnets by constructing a simple electric motor.
http://www.teachengineering.org/view_activity.php?url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_mag/cub_mag_lesson2_activity2.xml
Ages: 9+

Radio Transmission
An online activity that lets you track the journey of a sound wave, from a singer's mouth to a radio speaker.
http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.energy.radioint/
Ages: 11+

Science of Sound Activities and Lessons
A collection of activities, including animations of sound.
http://www.surfnetkids.com/sound.htm
Educators

Animations of Waves and Vibrations
http://www.kettering.edu/~drussell/demos.html
Ages: Educators

Teacher's Guide: Traveling Sounds (Grades 3–5)
http://www.teachengineering.com/view_activity.php? url=http://www.teachengineering.com/collection/cub_/activities/cub_energy2/cub_energy2_lesson05_activity2.xml
Ages: Educators

Teacher's Guide: How Ears Work Group Activity (Grades 5–8)
http://www.omsi.edu/visit/life/obp/u1_l4_index.html
Ages: Educators


Back to Cup Speaker videos


  • Bee Hummer
  • Bottle Blast Off
  • Color Chromatography
  • Cuica
  • Cup Speakers
  • Ice Balloons
  • Jitterbug
  • Sound Sandwich
  • Stripped Down Motor
  • Water Bottle Membranophone
  • Whirling Watcher

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