Pipes of Pan

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Create an instrument that you don't play--you just listen to it through tubes of various lengths. You won't be channeling your inner Zamfir, but you'll hear the sound frequencies of your surrounding environment.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Eleven cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls (other cardboard tubing, or even PVC pipe can also be used, in sufficient quantity to make the pipes described in Assembly Step 1)
  • A wood board 2 feet (60 cm) long (exact width or thickness is not critical; the board shown in the photos is a piece of ordinary 1 x 3 pine shelving, which is actually 2 1/2 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick)
  • Scissors (or a hacksaw or PVC cutter if you are using PVC pipe)
  • Tape


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Hearing
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties
      • Sound


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Access Rights:

  • Free access