Bat Echolocation Experiment

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In this activity, learners discover how bats use echolocation to get information about objects in their environment. During the activity, one learner whispers into a tube. Another learner listens for the sound to bounce off the pie plate and come back through the other tube. Use this activity to discuss the different ways animals learn about their environments. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 6

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 empty paper towel rolls
  • 2 aluminum pie plates
  • masking tape
  • rulers


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Biodiversity
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Hearing
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • REAP-CEP grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources