Engineering Instruments

Engineering Instruments focuses on homemade instruments made from reused and/or cheap materials from your favorite dollar store. Most of the instrument projects highlighted here come from the Resource Area For Teaching collection of Idea Sheets. With a focus on the engineering design process, this workshop allows students to then use engineering to modify and improve the instruments they have built. Happy noise-making!

Instruments and Sound Experiments, Physics of Sound Resources, and more

#STEMontheCheap

#STEMontheCheap

The STEMAZing Project's curated collection of #STEMontheCheap projects ...
Ah, Music

Ah, Music

Ah, Music! is about composers and instruments. It’s about artists and performers. It’s about history—from the earliest music through classical, modern, jazz, and popular times. It’s about diversity and pleasure ...
drawing of bug twirling a buzz off

Buzz Off, from RAFT

Buzz Off, when whirled around, makes a sound like an insect. A fantastic project for engineering the way it performs by making modifications to the original design ...
Cap Maracas

Cap Maracas

Reuse plastic bottle caps to create these fun maracas ...
Coconut Can Percussion

Coconut Can Percussion

Turn a coconut can into a percussion instrument you can shake, tap, and scrape to create a beat ...
Crash Course Kids YouTube Channel

Crash Course Kids YouTube Channel

YouTube channel from the creators of Crash Course Kids ...
Design a ... Cards

Design a … Cards

Design Prompts from RAFT ...
Design Inspirations from RAFT

Design Inspirations from RAFT

Combine two unrelated ideas to inspire a creative new design! Engineers often use everyday objects to stimulate creative ideas. For example, an early ballpoint pen designer might have had a flash of inspiration while looking ...
Engineering Design Process University of Arizona

Engineering Design Process University of Arizona

Adapted from the UA College of Engineering ...
Finger Flute

Finger Flute

Sturdy cardboard tubes, straws, tape, and other inexpensive materials can be used to create this fun noisemaker! ...
Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night

Fox Went Out on a Chilly Night

In this glowing new vision of Spier’s beloved classic, follow the wily fox as he roams a sleepy New England town in search of a meal, with tones and textures so vivid you can almost ...
Going to the Zoo

Going to the Zoo

Now you can go along too, as Tom Paxton's classic song comes to life in this boisterous picture book ...
Habits of Mind

Habits of Mind

16 Habits of Mind that we want to develop in our students ...
I Am an Old Horned Toad

I Am an Old Horned Toad

With beautiful watercolor illustrations by Jessica Helm, a forward by Petey Mesquitey, a CD including the horned toad song, and a whole page of extra facts about horned toads, this book is fun, educational and ...
Inspired by a ... Cards

Inspired by a … Cards

Design prompts from RAFT ...
Magic School Bus in the Haunted Museum: A Book about Sound

Magic School Bus in the Haunted Museum: A Book about Sound

In a companion book to the new PBS series starring Lily Tomlin, readers learn about sound and how it is made as Ms. Frizzle's class spends the night in a sounds museum that turns out ...
Making Musical Instruments with Kids

Making Musical Instruments with Kids

Written for adults, this hands-on guide demonstrates how to make easy musical instruments with children. Detailed instructions are included for making more than 60 unique instruments that are suitable for children as young as five ...
Martin the Guitar (Book and CD)

Martin the Guitar (Book and CD)

This charming children's story will delight music lovers of all ages. Little Martin the Guitar lives in Mr. Beninato's Music Store in New York City. He wants so much to be adopted and taken home ...
Octopus's Garden

Octopus’s Garden

Based on the lyrics of the world famous Beatles song, this glorious picture book follows five children on a magical journey through the Octopus's garden ...
Physics Toolbox

Physics Toolbox

Apps For Android Phones and Tablets in the Google Play store ...
Pie Pan Tambourine

Pie Pan Tambourine

Turn a foil pie pan into a tambourine! ...
RAFT

RAFT

Resource Area for Teaching Idea Sheets - a collection of more than 700 searchable ideas. All use easy-to-find cheap materials ...
Rubber-Band Banjos and a Java Jive Bass

Rubber-Band Banjos and a Java Jive Bass

Make a hip-hoppin' java jive bass out of an old coffee can. Put on your homemade tuxedo and conduct your own orchestra. Those are just some of the fun projects and activities you'll enjoy as ...
Science Experiments with Sound & Music

Science Experiments with Sound & Music

34 easy-to-do activities that demonstrate the scientific concepts behind sound waves, pitch, acoustics, scales, etc ...
Sound and Wave Tutorial

Sound and Wave Tutorial

From the Physics Classroom ...
Sound and Waves Interactives

Sound and Waves Interactives

The Physics Classroom ...
Sound Projects with a Music Lab

Sound Projects with a Music Lab

Flutes, harps, guitars, pianos, drums All musical instruments use fundamental properties of physics to produce their sounds. In this instructive manual, Robert Gardner explains how to build homemade versions of a variety of instruments, all ...
Sound Shakers

Sound Shakers

A sensory activity for young learners from RAFT ...
Star Wars Sound Machine

Star Wars Sound Machine

Adding a Styrofoam cup as a sounding board to a metal Slinky turns it into a Star Wars sound machine! ...
Straw Oboe

Straw Oboe

Using two different diameter straws, create an oboe with just a simple cut to create a reed and a little bit of practice ...
This Land Is Your Land

This Land Is Your Land

This classic ballad is brought to life in a richly illustrated edition for the whole family to share. Woody Guthrie's powerful lyrics and Kathy Jakobsen's detailed paintings invite readers on a journey across the country, ...
This Old Band

This Old Band

What kinds of instruments would you imagine a band of cowboys playing? Surely nothing fancy, but they can still make do with what they have, like jugs, combs, boots, and whatever else they can find ...
Tongue Depressor Harmonica

Tongue Depressor Harmonica

Create this #STEMontheCheap harmonica using large craft sticks, rubber bands, and some other inexpensive materials ...
Treasures for Teachers of Tucson

Treasures for Teachers of Tucson

Our resource center has a wide variety of unique and useful materials you might spend days or weeks trying to find.  Whether it’s plastic bottle caps and fabric scraps or golf balls and office supplies, ...
Tubby the Tuba

Tubby the Tuba

When the recording of Tubby the Tuba was first released, it met with instant success, and it went on to sell 13 million copies. Now, these classic characters have been reimagined by Henry Cole in ...
VHS Shamisen

VHS Shamisen

Create this stringed instrument using a few simple materials ...
Wave on a String Simulation

Wave on a String Simulation

PHET Interactive Simulations University of Colorado Boulder ...
Woody Guthrie, Poet of the People

Woody Guthrie, Poet of the People

This is an introductory biography presented as a picture book with a brief lyrical text and powerful, hand-tinted, woodcut-like illustrations. It includes the complete lyrics to “This Land Is Your Land” and excerpts from his ...

 

Looking for something specific? Type keywords into the search bar to locate resources you could use.