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Torsion Drum

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    Community Science Workshop Network

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Torsion Drum

In this activity, learners build a musical drum using a cardboard tube, plastic wrap, and beads. Learners use a saw to cut the tube, a drill to make holes for a handle, and a hair dryer to seal plastic shrink wrap around the drum. Adult supervision required with these tools. Use this activity to help learners explore sound waves and vibration.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 Cardboard tube
  • 2 Pieces of string, each about 4 in. long
  • 2 Beads
  • Material for handle
  • Plastic shrink wrap (found in the window weatherization section of the hardware store)
  • Hair dryer
  • Tape, double-sided
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Decorations


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Hearing
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Music
  • Toys


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop


  • All Rights Reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, ©2011


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