String Telephone

a blue, black and white cube structure that has vinyl blue and white information panels from top to bottom with spaces in between. There are also different sound exibits hanging from orange cord from the cube structure.

Vibrations travelling through solids can be heard as sounds.

How it works

A classic string telephone toy demonstrates how sound vibrations travel.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

Hold one tin close to your mouth. Ask a friend to hold the other tin close to their ear. Pull the string tightly and talk into the tin. Can your friend hear you?


When you speak into your tin, the vibrations made by your vocal cords travel through the air and make your tin vibrate. The vibrations travel along the string making the tin at the other end vibrate. The vibrating tin makes the air inside vibrate, carrying the sound of your voice to the ear of your friend.

Finding the science in your world

Some predators (particularly invertebrates) have sensors within their feet and bodies to detect vibrations through the ground caused by prey walking or approaching the waiting predator.