The fascination Sounds of Physics

Did you know that to make a musical scale using bottles filled with water, place the bottles in order from the one that makes the lowest sound to the one that makes the highest sound. You can add or remove a little water if you need to to change the pitch. 

Phunky Physics is the school wide inquiry focus. The teachers’ and students’ are learning a variety of elements of physics from energy, force and motion, light, and so much more. 

Room 4 and Room 8 have been exploring sound. They had to find out how sound resonates using crystal wine glasses and how differently pitched sounds are made. 


Room 8  - How sound resonates - Trying to create musical sounds. 


Room 4 - Making sounds on the crystal glass. Te Ramaroa concentrated on creating sound.   

Musical Crystal Glasses

To find out how sounds resonate, Room 4 and 8 needed a crystal glass (Mrs Forrest brought some from home) and  filled these ½ way with water.  

I learned that I have to remember to wet your fingertip or else it won’t work. Layne P - Rm 8  

Everyone  learned to create any sound you must rub your finger around the rim of the glass. You have to keep going until something happens. 

Did you know? Sound bounces off various surfaces such as glass or wood and can increase in volume. This is called resonance which means the sound is contained in something. 

We had to be really quiet to hear the sound resonate, it wasn’t easy to make a sound, I learned that if I rub the glass it made a sound, just not a pretty one. Liam, Te Ramaroa and Danielle - Rm 4


Dannika trying really hard to resonate sound by rubbing the rim of the crystal class. 


Bailey is trying hard to create sound from the crystal glass. Rm 4 

Room 8 has been using the POE (predict, observe and explain) to help us when discovering new learning. 

Before starting the experiment, the students made a prediction about what might happen "When I add water to a crystal glass." 

I think it will make music. Finn Rm 8 

I think that Mrs Forrest is going to hover her hands over the cups well moving her hands then it will make sounds. Karma Rm 8

I predict that when kayde pours the water in we run his finger around the rims and it will make a cool noise. Jack Rm 8

After the prediction was made, Room 8 then proceeded to see if they could resonate sound. Through this observation Room 8 discovered that resonating sound was not as easy as first thought. 

Jack, Rylie M and Kerrian managed to resonate a beautiful, ongoing sound. From this learning, Jack tried to explain what he did to generate sound. Jack became the expert of the lesson and taught his peers. 


POE Predict, Observe and Explain to record the learning. Rm 8 # 7

Musical Bottles

Did you know, If you fill a glass bottle with different levels you can create a different pitch (sound) from each bottle. 

Room 4  students used glass bottles filled with water to create a musical sound. Mrs Forrest asked everyone if they could make each glass bottle sound different, if so how can we do this?

Room 4 students learned that having different levels helped generate a different sound. 


Dali and Lexi working together when creating different pitched sounds. #3

It was fun hitting the bottles to create a sound, we tipped water out of some bottles to make them different levels and tried to make a tune”. We shared our discovery with the class by playing a tune together. Dali and Lexi - Rm 4

We discovered that to make a scale, you have to have the water bottles with different levels in order from fullest to less full. We didn’t do this at first and this sounded weird. This makes a scale like a piano does. Emma, Lucy and Isla - Rm 4


Emma, Lucy Isla creating different pitched sounds. 


Indie K striking the glass to make a tune. "I can see the water shake" Rm 4 - 

Room 4 discovered that when you strike the glass with an object, it caused a vibration, this vibration generated sound. 

Our next step is to discover what action other musical instruments need to create vibration to generate the sound. For example,  when you strum a guitar, when you bang a drum.  


Rylie M demonstrated his technique while creating sound. Room 8 


Rylie S having a go at resonating sound on the crystal glass. Room 8 - 


Brooke, Victoria, Danielle and Taylor making music together. Rm 4 

Keywords: Phynky Physics, Science, Music, The Arts, Curiosity, Pitch, Sound, Vibration 

Attributed to: Natasha Forrest

Curriculum Links: Science, Physical World, The Nature of Science, English, The Arts - Music

Room 4 Making sounds on the crystal glass2. Te Ramaroa concentrating on creating sound. 2