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    In this investigation, students measure distance and time in order to calculate the speed of a sound wave.

    The investigation supports the science capability ‘Gather and interpret data’. It also provides a real-world context in which to practise mathematical skills.

    By the end of this investigation, students should be able to:

    • calculate the speed of sound
    • explain why we see a lightning bolt before we hear the thunder.

    Equipment required includes:

    • sound-making device (wooden clapper)
    • device with timing software app
    • tape measure
    • an outdoor space of at least 150 metres with a building at one end.

    Download the Word file (see link below).

    Useful links

    Download the app software from

      Published 13 September 2019 Referencing Hub articles