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Vibrating Like the Wings of a Hummingbird


  • a tissue box
  • a pair of scissors
  • three fairly long rubber bands
  • two straws
  • tape
picture #1


Sound is produced by the vibration of an object. It spreads through compressible mediums in the form of a variation in pressure. Air is a compressible medium. The rapid movement of a hummingbird's wings produces a humming sound, Hummmm, which was the inspiration for its name "Hummingbird." When the rhythm of the beating wings is very rapid, the humming becomes higher pitched.

Acoustics is the science that studies sound.

Step 1: Let's Get Started!

Cut a straw in half and glue each half on either side of the opening.

Step 2: Guitar Strings

Place elastic bands around the box (lengthwise).

picture #2

Step 3: We've got music!

Listen to the vibrations of your rubber bands; do any sound like the wings of a hummingbird?

picture #3Explanation

The rubber bands, like the strings on a guitar, vibrate and produce notes. On a guitar, each string has a different diameter: the thinner the string, the higher-pitched the sound. Guitar strings are not all made from the same material, most are made of nylon, and others are made of metal. The choice of strings determines the sound quality. Nylon strings produce a lower (more bass) sound and metal strings, a higher (more treble) sound.


Change the dimensions of the rubber bands and the box to produce different sounds. You can also try using wire made from iron or another metal.