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Science Rocks!



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Sent in by:
Teresa of Wabasha, MN

You'll be jammin' on this guitar while experimenting with vibrations.

Materials Needed

  • some empty paper towel rolls
  • about 5 rubber bands
  • empty tissue box
  • scissors



  1. Cut a small hole in one of the two smallest sides of the box.
  2. Put the paper towel roll in the hole and tape it in place. This makes it look like a guitar.
  3. Put the rubber bands around the box covering the hole. You can put them around the long way or the short way. Strum your guitar by running your finger tips over the rubber bands, or try plucking each band by itself.

Now it's time for you to experiment. Think of a question you want answered. Like, what would happen if you made a guitar using boxes that have different shapes like a cereal box or shoebox. Would the sound change? What about tightening the rubber bands? What does that do to the sound? Make a prediction. Then, change one thing-that's the variable-and test it out. When you're done, send your reports to our special feedback area. Be sure to tell us what you thought was going to happen and what actually did happen. Share your results with the world, right here at ZOOM!

Some of your Results

Johanna, age 13 of Yonkers wrote:
It sounded very weird. I enjoyed it though.

Hunter, age 8 of Lebanon, MO wrote:
The guitar sounded a little weird, but it was still a realy fun project to make!!

Adriana, age 9 of Brampton, ON wrote:
I made a guitar with a shoe box but I did not cut a hole I just took the lid off it and it made a louder and lower sound. how I think it happend is that the bigger the hole the more sound it collects and then the more sound that comes out of the sound hole so you would hear it louder. what other resolts did you get?

Ethan, age 9 of Muldraugh, KY wrote:
I had fun when I hard the sound!

John & Kalvin, age 6 of San Jose, CA wrote:
It sounded like a guitar!

Hanson, age 10 of Aiea, HI wrote:
it sounded off, but good

Chloe, age 9 of Barrie wrote:
I was verrry creativ insted of using rubber bands to make gutiar strings I made colouer strings by using hair alasticks it looked AWSUM!!!

Kristen, age 9 of Alliston, ON wrote:
It was so cool! It worked perfectly and it was easy to build!

Nellie, age 9 of Honolulu, HI wrote:
The smaller it was the lower pitched sound it made.

Sara wrote:
The tissue box made a high pitch sound and the cereal box made a low pitched sound.

Randy, age 10 of New Liskerd, ON wrote:
It vibrated and made a weird sound!

Sarah, age 10 of Marrero, LA wrote:
It made a low pitch sound.

Heidi, age 9 of Price wrote:
When I tried tightening the strings it made a high pitch sound.

Krita, age 8 of Rosamond wrote:
When I made a guitar with my friends, It sounded like a real one and worked perfect!

Josiah, age 12 of Belding, MI wrote:
When I put the rubber bands on the tubes crinckled up and the directions were not very helpful.

Risha, age 8 of Plattsburgh, NY wrote:
It worked and now I can jump on my bed and sing and rock to the awsome sound of the guitar yeah!

Mary, age 9 of Austin, TX wrote:
I got a tissue box put some rubberbands around it and a paper towel role and made a guitar! It was really fun. It takes about ten minutes, and after you make it you can make other instruments to make a band. It's really fun!

Shaxi, age 11 of Hickory, NC wrote:
It was sounding terrible but it was cool.

Kaeleigh, age 9 of Daphne, AL wrote:
When I did not use the Amplifier the guitar made a like a Regular Guitar Sounds. When I use the Amplifier it made high Sounds.

Brandi, age 10 of McConnellsburg, PA wrote:
It really worked! It was awesome. My dad and I then tried rubber bands, and twine, also some other types of string.

Grace, age 11 of Calgary, AB wrote:
It was so cool!! All of the rubber bands sounded different because I made some thick.

Mitchell, age 7 of Smyrna, TN wrote:
My Dad and I made the guitar out of a shoebox and some string. And it worked!! The strings make a low sound when they vibrate. It's cool!!

Megan, age 12 of San Jacinto wrote:
I made it, and instead of making the sound I thought it was gonna make, like a guitar, it made this weird Glom Glom noise.

Tisha, age 10 of Covina, CA wrote:
It actualy worked. It makes real noises!!!

Mykenzie, age 10 of Arapaho, WY wrote:
When I first did it I figured that when you tighten the strings it has a higher pitch and when you loosen the strings it does the opposite, it makes a lower pitch. I really enjoyed making the guiter, and I am trying others.

Ayanna, age 10 of Boston, MA wrote:
It looked funny but it made a vibrating sound.

Amanda, age 11 of Panama City, FL wrote:
When I tightened the stings it made a strikter sound if you know what I mean. When I loosened the strings I think I did it a little too much they were sagging down LOW!

Samantha, age 11 of W Palm Beach, FL wrote:
Well the guitar made a really funky sound because it wasnt a real guitar.

Grace, age 8 of Nantucket, MA wrote:
I made a fime guitar and it has 8 strings that make different sounds.

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