Build Your Own Stethoscope

A stethoscope is an instrument that doctors use in examining sick people. They put the two ends of it in their ears, much like earphones. They place the other end of it on the body of their patients, so that they can check for any unusual sounds. Doctors use the stethoscope to listen to breathing, heartbeat, and bowel movement.

Did you know that the first stethoscope was invented in 1816 by a French physician named Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec? He decided to create it when he observed children who were playing with long pieces of wood. The pieces of wood relayed sound from pins that scratch any surface. He then tried it for himself and decided to replace the wooden chunks with wooden cylinders. The name he gave his first stethoscope was “The Cylinder”. Why not create your very own stethoscope like Rene did?

What You Need:

• Non-toxic modelling clay
• 2 funnels
• A pair of scissors
• An old garden hose
• A notepad
• Pencil or pen




How You Do It:

*** It takes about 15 minutes to finish this experiment.
1. Get your scissors and use it to cut a sixteen-inch piece of flexible cylinder from your old garden hose.
2. Take the funnels and place each on both ends of the piece you cut off. If they do not fit, use your modelling clay to make them fit snugly into each hole.
3. Place one end of the funnel cylinder on your ear and the other end on your chest. If you don’t hear anything, exercise for about five to ten minutes and try again. Write down what you observe.
The stethoscope you made is a crude one, so you need to listen to a louder heartbeat. That is why you were told to exercise for a while before you test your stethoscope again.
This experiment helps you understand how sound is transmitted through closed spaces, which the garden hose represents.



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