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Thursday, December 3, 2020
Home Education Make a Harmonica

Make a Harmonica

STEAM Fair 2020 Activity

Thanks to Chesapeake Family Life

Make a harmonica with just rubber bands and craft sticks.

What you need:

  • Jumbo craft sticks (2)
  • A wide rubber band
  • Two smaller rubber bands
  • A straw
  • Scissors

Video:

How to make a harmonica

  1. Cut Straw

    Cut two pieces of straw that are 1 – 1 .5 inches long.

  2. Attach rubber band on one craft stick

    Stretch the thick rubber band around one of the craft sticks. Place one of the straws under the rubber band.

  3. Attach other craft stick

    Put the other craft stick on top and attach them with one of the small rubber band on the same end as the straw.

  4. Attach other straw piece

    Stick the other piece of straw at the other end of the harmonica, but this time place it on top of the wide rubber band. Secure the end with the second small rubber band.

  5. Try out your harmonica

    To play the harmonica, all you have to do is blow.

How does it work?

It makes a really cool noise! When you blow, the wide rubber band vibrates and makes a sound. To change the pitch, slide the straws closer together or farther apart. When you slide them closer together, the section of rubber band that is vibrating is shorter, so it makes a higher sound. Slide the straws all the way to the edges to get the lowest possible sound (which is still pretty high, but lower).

Observe:

Does the thickness or the tension of the wide rubber band affect the pitch? Try different ones.
Can you change the pitch by blowing harder or softer? Does the shape of your mouth affect the pitch?

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