How Does Sound Travel Through A String?

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cup and string

Grade Level: First Grade

Book: Physical Science Unit: Energy Module: Sound Energy


Use a classic children’s game to demonstrate the ability of sound to travel through an object.


  • Paper or plastic cups
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Tape
  • A friend

Experimental Procedure:

  • Using the point of the scissors, poke a hole in the middle of the bottom of each cup.
  • Stand a few feet away from a friend and talk to each other in normal voices. Keep moving apart until you can no longer hear each other well enough to have a conversation.
  • Hold one of the cups up to your mouth and speak into it while your friend listens into the other. Can you hear each other?
  • Next cut a length of string long enough to stretch between you and your friend when you could no longer talk to each other.
  • Poke the ends of the string through the holes in the bottoms of the cups and tape the ends securely to these bottoms.
  • Hold onto one cup and have your friend hold onto the other and walk away until the string is taut.
  • Talk into one cup while your friend holds the other cup over her ear. Switch. Now can you hear each other through the cups? 
  • Discuss the possible reason for why attaching the cups with the string allowed you to each other.

Related Lesson:

Explore – Sound Energy


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