In this cool science experiment we will harness invisible forces to make a straw magically move
across the top of a wine glass and fall inside without touch it with our hands. In the process we will
learn about sympathetic vibrations and resonation.

Materials For Magic Moving Straw Science Experiment:

  • Two clean wine glasses of the same make and size.
  • Plastic Straws
  • Scissors
  • Water

Watch The Magic Moving Straw Science Experiment Video

Process For Magic Moving Straw Science Experiment

1) Take your wine glasses and sit them on a flat stirdy surface like a counter or solid table.

2) Fill both glasses about 3/4 way full with water. Get level with the glasses and eyeball the water
to ensure they are filled to as close to exact same level as possible (very important).

3) Take a straw and place it on top of the glass. Cut some of the straw off one end. You want it to
be large enough for both ends of the straw to go across the glass with maybe 1/2 inch wiggle
room on both sides.

4) Place your cut dry straw on the rim of one of the wine glasses. Move the other wine glass very
close to one with the straw on it.

5) Dip a finger in the water of the glass without the straw.

6) Now start moving your finger in circular motions around the rim of the wine glass without the
straw. Try different pressures and vary the quickness of your motion.

7) The glass will begin to make sounds and sing as it starts to vibrate and resonate.

8) Watch the straw on the other wine glass begin to move and dance about the rim of the glass. Try
to get  the straw to fall off or inside the glass.

9) Tips - use dry straws when repeating the experiment. Harder pressure may create bigger
vibrations and cause to straw to move more.  

The Science Behind the Magic Moving Straw Science Experiment

When we slide our wet finger over the rim of the wine glass it produces vibrations in the glass. The
vibrations create sound waves that shoot out it all directions. As this occurs, the glass itself begins
to resonate or vibrate. These vibrations travel through the air and reach the other glass with the
straw on top. When the sound waves hit the other glass, that glass begins to vibrate as well
because we have the same water level in both glasses. This is called a sympathetic vibration at
the same frequency.
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