Clucking cups, singing string and making music!

 by Becky Holmes

Do you like listening to music?  Is it sometimes so great you just want it louder?  We’re going to look at sound, vibration and amplification and how they link into the Key Stage 2 Science curriculum with lots of great activities to do.

Amplification is making a sound louder and is very important when listening to sounds and music. Sometimes music can be much better at full volume. Usually we amplify sounds using electronics. Lets see if there is another way to make a sound loud!


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Turn it up! Image: science made simple (CC-BY-NC)

Try these….

Singing string

Hold a piece of string in one hand. Now pull downwards on the string with a damp cloth using the other hand. Can you hear a sound? Can you do anything to make it louder?

Clucking cups

Make a hole in the bottom of a plastic cup. Feed the string through the hole and tie a knot to keep it in place.

Pull on the string again with the damp cloth, you should notice a change in the sound you make.

Predict how the sound will change if you pull again with;

A . Bucket attached

B . Bin attached

Try it out to see if you are right.

Send us some pictures of your creations at or @scimadesimple on twitter.

Listen to a musical box

Place a music box on 3 different surfaces while you play it, and write down any differences in the sound produced.

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Download the printable version of the worksheet here.

Curriculum Links

Key Stage 2:

Find patterns between the volume of a sound and the strength of the vibrations that produced it



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Posted in Activity, Physics, Primary