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Build a Disk Siren

Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Sound, siren, frequency, pitch
Girl operating the disk siren created in this science activity.

Introduction

If you live in an urban area, you probably hear them almost every day: sirens. Police cars, ambulances, fire trucks—they all can come blaring. Their wailing sounds are piercingly loud to help alert others to clear the road in front of them. But have you ever thought about how this loud noise is generated? Make your own disk siren in this activity and find out for yourself.

Credits

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies
Sabine De Brabandere, PhD, Science Buddies
This activity is not appropriate for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,150 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Plastic lid, the type you see on large yogurt tubs, preferably 16 cm diameter.
  • Scissors
  • Protractor
  • Ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Double-sided foam tape, a small piece is enough.
  • Hole punch
  • Cordless electric high-power screwdriver that reaches at least 1,000 rotations per minute. You should only use it with adult supervision.
  • Small bit for the screwdriver
  • Straw
  • Paper clip or needle
  • Adult helper
    Some of the materials needed to create the disk siren studied in this science activity

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Active Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Total Project Time
45 minutes to 1 hour
Key Concepts
Sound, siren, frequency, pitch