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Science Rocks!

Super Sounding Drums


your results

Sent in by:
Sylvia of Pittsburgh, PA

Be a sound scientist with the Super Sounding Drum.

Materials Needed

  • containers of different sizes
  • clear plastic shrink wrap that's used to insulate windows. It comes with double stick tape and you can get it at a hardware store.
  • you can also use regular plastic wrap.
  • masking tape
  • blow dryer



  1. First get a container that you think will make a good drum, like a metal bowl or an oatmeal container. Sylvia says that larger containers make better sounds.
  2. Put the double-sided tape all the way around the container 2 inches from the top.
  3. Cut 2 pieces of shrink wrap big enough to cover the tape on the container. Then, push it onto the tape.
  4. Tape the edges of the shrink wrap with masking tape so it's really secure.
  5. Now blow dry the shrink wrap with a blow dryer set on hot. This shrinks the plastic and makes a very tight drum.
  6. Be sure you don't put the end of the blow dryer to close to the plastic, or it will melt.
  7. Once it's really tight, bang your drum.

Now it's time to experiment. Try to change the sound your drum makes. Can you make a drum with a really deep sound? Test it out with different containers and then send your reports to our special feedback area. Be sure to tell us what materials you used and anything you learned from your experiments. Share your results with the world, right here at ZOOM!

Some of your Results

Vincent, age 13 of Melbourne, FL wrote:
The smaller the container, it made a higher sound. The larger the container, it made a lower sound.

Dana, age 9 of Estero, FL wrote:
It poofed up and it looked really cool when we blow-dried it.

Angel, age 9 of Houston, TX wrote:
It sounded really cool! Super Sounding Drums are Super sounding!

Jose, age 12 of Fresno, CA wrote:
I started playing it when my mom heard. She also tried it and we sang and sang.

Dallas, age 13 of Farmington, MI wrote:
Well when I first did this experiment with plastic bowls it was not very good, but I then assumed it was the plastic making it sound bad; therefore, I used a metal bowl and now I am a rock n' roll star!!!

Natalie, age 7 of Glendel, CA wrote:
It was realy loud .

Destiney, age 10 of Las Vegas, NV wrote:
When I tryed it it was so loud I had to all most plug my ears thats how loud it was.

Beth, age 15 of Wolfville, NC wrote:
I did this for a band project in school. First we tryed to do it with a ice cream container (which is plastic) and it didnt work at all! So we then did it with a glass bowl and hit it with a wooden spoon and it worked great! Why not try it with different materials ZOOMers? Which will work the best? Plastic? Glass? Metal? Which kind of spoon makes the drum sound the best when you hit it? Try it out!

Seleste, age 9 of Palmdale, CA wrote:
It was so loud, but cool.

Victoria, age 10 of Huntington Park wrote:
I compared a little drum wih a big drum. The big drum had more strongness. Then I played both at the same time and made a tone.

Drew, age 10 of Thorofare, NJ wrote:
When I did the experiment my brother thought it was cool and the more I tightend it the louder the sound was.

Munty, age 10 of Southampton, PA wrote:
Well I tried puting rice and beans(raw) and the drumm sounded like a snare.

Matt of Elgin, IL wrote:
You should try a balloon as the drum head, break it and stretch it over the drum. You can also use a rubber band to help keep it tight around the drum. Use cheese puff cans, pringles cans, popcorn tins, the diffent size containers create different sounds (timbres).

Mitchell, age 9 of New London, WI wrote:
Today I made the "Super Sounding drum" out of a coffee can, and I experimented with different things to hit it with. Here is a list of the items that I tried: banana, fork, spoon, large & small popsicle sticks, "Tootsie Pop" sucker, an egg carton and a large mixing spoon. I think the best sound came from the popsicle sticks!

Laura, age 10 of Plymouth, WI wrote:
It worked out pretty good when wee used the biggest one. It had a really deep sound. The middle size bowl sounded o. k. The smallest one started out o. k but got really bad after a while. We also did some cerel bowls but they didn't work to good.

Noah, age 8 of Portland, OR wrote:
They made a beat.

Ryan, age 10 of Houston, TX wrote:
I tried regular plastic wrap and it didn't sound as well as the shrink wrap. However, I got to do some paradiddles with the Super Sounding Drum.

Mariel, age 9 of National City, CA wrote:
I used a cheese puff can. My brother finished the can. Then, when it was empty, I washed it and I used regular plastic wrap. I taped the plastic to the can and I was SURE that it was tight. Then I blow dryed it HOT. I blow dryed it for a few minutes, and then it was tight enough. It worked, but it didn't sound good enough. I then noticed that the inside of my can was still moist from the water when I washed it. Maybe thats why it didn't work so well?

Sebastian, age 5 of N Vancouver, BC wrote:
We used plastic wrap instead of shrink wrap. It doesn't get as tight, but still makes sound. Blow dryer didn't seem to do anything.

Mike, age 10 of Ti wrote:

A, age 10 of Fayette, GA wrote:
We noticed that the longer the blow dryer runs, the better the drum sounds.

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