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Make a copy of the first stethoscope with only a cardboard tube! René Laennec invented the first stethoscope in 1819 using an actual paper tube! Since then, the design has evolved into what we use today. The activity (on page 2) has suggestions such as listening for breathing, doing jumping jacks, and listening to a pet's heart. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Tube from a roll of toilet paper or paper towels
  • A friend, family member, or pet


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Medical Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • Circulation
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Hearing
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and History
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Historical Reenactment
  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, ESI-0206403