Resonant Rings

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Things that are different sizes and stiffness vibrate differently, and in this Exploratorium Science Snack, you'll see how rings of various diameters react to vibration and external forces. This can be used to show how materials react in earthquakes.

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 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • A large sheet of construction paper measuring about 14 × 20 inches (35 × 50 centimeters); alternatively, use strips of construction paper ranging in size from roughly 1 x 8 in (2.5 x 25 cm) to 1 x 20 in (2.5 x 50 cm) in a variety of colors
  • A sheet of cardboard that is 12 in (30 cm) long and several inches wide
  • Scissors
  • Tape


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Earthquakes
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Civil Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment
    • The Design Process


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access