Standing Waves Activity

This is a hands-on student science activity to learn about standing waves using hand-bowed Chladni plates.

There are three parts: a short introductory/refresher activity, a long main activity, and a short concluding activity. You can do all the parts on one day or split them up onto consecutive days.

Total Time: 40-70 minutes. Ages: 8 to 16. Number of students: 1 to 24.

1. Standing Waves in Strings

This an optional short introductory/refresher activity (5 minutes).

Students simply demonstrate and observe standing waves in strings. More...

2. Standing Waves in Chladni Plates

This is the main activity (40-60 minutes).

Students make different standing wave patterns on hand-bowed Chladni plates. Students record their observations and analyze their results. More...

3. Standing Waves in Atoms

This is an optional short concluding activity (5 minutes).

Students simply look at some pictures of atomic orbitals and see that they look somewhat like Chladni patterns. Atoms are made of standing waves! More...