Yogurt Cup Speakers

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Learners build a simple electromagnet, then use this electromagnet to transform a yogurt container into a working speaker. They can connect their speaker to a radio and listen as it transmits sound. This activity requires learners have some background knowledge about series circuits and magnets. Resource contains vocabulary definitions and suggestions for assessment (sample rubric included), extensions, and scaling for different levels of learners.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 2 round magnets (½ to ¾ inch diameter)
  • 15 ft., 20-24 gauge coil wire (enamel-coated transformer coil wire)
  • 1 plastic container (yogurt, whip topping, butter)
  • 1 D-cell battery
  • sandpaper
  • electrical tape
  • radio with detachable speakers (to be shared with class); the output of the radio should be at least 20 watts


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields
      • Electric Circuits
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Sound
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Music


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Lyons, Ph.D., P.E., Jed ; Todorova, Ivanka ; Roebuck, Trevor

Source Collection

  • TeachEngineering


  • All rights reserved, Regents of the University of Colorado, 2013