Make Yourself Heard

What's this Science Bite about?

Make yourself louder without raising your voice!

In this experiment you can make a basic model of a megaphone without using electrical equipment.

Always remember to ask your parent or guardian to help you.

What you'll need

A large piece of card, string, scissors, pen, ruler and some tape.

  • Large piece of card/paper, the bigger the better.
  • Piece of string slightly longer than your piece of paper.
  • Scissors
  • Pen/pencil
  • Ruler
  • Tape

How to do this experiment

  1. Draw a line down the centre of your piece of card/paper.
    A piece of card with a line drawn along it.
    Then take your pen/pencil and tie it round the end of the piece of sting. Hold the string with one finger at the bottom of your card/paper and stretch the end with the pen/pencil out until the string is tight.

  2. Then you want to keep the string taught and draw a curve at the top of the paper as shown in the picture.
    Drawing a curve on the card using string and a pencil.

  3. Next you want to keep the string taught and at length but bring it towards you so that you use it to make the same shaped curve at the bottom of the page, this is going to be the mouth piece.
    Using string and pencil to create mouthpiece on card.

  4. Connect the 2 curves with lines then use the scissors to cut it out then roll the cone together and fix it in place with tape.
    Pieces of card having been cut.

  5. Now test it out by asking a friend to listen to you talk with and without using the mega phone.
    Jamie tests the cardboard cone
    Does it make you louder?

Find out more...

To talk we breathe out over our voice box (larynx) as it vibrates. The vibrations of the voice box make the air in our throats vibrate and we also use our lips and tongue to make the words we speak. This talking is vibrations in the air, when they reach our ears they are decoded by our brain and we hear the words.

When we use the megaphone there is a far larger volume of air to move and therefore this makes a larger sound wave for our ears to pick up. The bigger the amplitude of the wave the louder it becomes. You can test this out using bigger cones.

Curriculum Links

Vibrations and Waves

SCN 1-11a/ 2-11a


Glasgow Science Centre