In this activity, students model how sound travels by sending waves along two stretched plastic slinkies tied together.

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

  • understand that sound is a longitudinal wave where particles in the medium vibrate back and forth along the same direction as the wave travels
  • see that a wave travels along as a series of compressions and expansions in the medium.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • instructions on what you need and what to do
  • discussion questions
  • extension ideas.
    Published 10 May 2011