Wave Machine

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
This is a great activity about wave interference. Learners will create their own wave machine and discover wave properties through hands-on investigation. Topics specifically addressed include standing waves, free-end reflection and wave velocity. Included are ideas for taking the investigation further by experimenting with sound waves. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org. Activity write-up only, images are unavailable.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Transparent tape
  • 11 pencils
  • Two tables or chairs the same height.
  • Alternate materials such as straws, shorter pencils, markers or wood splints.


  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties
      • Wave Motion


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • National Science Center (Fort Discovery)

Source Collection

  • TryScience