Extreme Science: Penny Shine

What you will need:

  1. 4 jumbo craft sticks
  2. Scissors
  3. Paper
  4. Tape or rubber bands
  5. Adult supervision


1. Cut out a piece of paper that is just slightly smaller than your craft stick

2. Carefully cut about 1-2 inches off of the ends of two of your craft sticks.

3. Place one craft stick on the table.

4. Place one of the ends that you cut off on each end of the craft stick as shown.

5. Place the piece of paper on top of the ends as shown

6. Place the other two cut off ends on the paper as shown

7. Place your last craft stick over the top as shown

8. Add tape (or rubber bands) over each end as show to hold everything in place.

9. Place the kazoo just inside your lips and blow air over the paper. You can pinch the kazoo or slide it back and forth to create different sounds.

What is going on?

The key to sound is vibration. The air that is moving over each side of your paper is causing it to vibrate, which is producing the sound that you hear. By using the craft sticks, you are making it easier to vibrate the paper since the craft sticks will hold your lips off of the edge of the paper. The small spacers that you placed on each side of the paper also helps give the paper more room to vibrate and create sound.

Try this:

Get creative and try different materials instead of paper. See if you can create different sounds based on the type of material you vibrate. Try thicker paper vs. thinner paper. Try wide strips of paper vs thin strips. Try multiple strips. Again, get creative and have fun with it.

Radical Rick

Extreme Science