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    In this activity, students make a hydrophone and use it to listen to underwater sounds.

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

    • understand how to modify an electret microphone to be used underwater
    • describe differences in how sounds are heard under water and above water in the air

    Download the Word file for:

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

    Related content

    Find out more about studying sound under water and read about the basics of sound waves and how sound travels through water to understand some of the key science concepts.

    Useful link

    Scientists from the Marine Science Department at the University of Otago use an underwater hydrophone to find out more about the lives of sperm whales. Find out more in this article from the Kiwi Conservation Club.

      Published 10 May 2011, Updated 1 March 2019 Referencing Hub articles