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Gummy Baby Wave

For our last project we created a wave model inspired by the internet. We were
considering many different things we could test for this project and we settled on testing whether
or not tension affected the speed of the wave as it traveled across the wave model. We
predicted that the wave would travel faster when more tension was put on it. We created our
wave model by attaching skewers to a piece of tape and then putting one gummy baby on each
end of every skewer. Then we pulled the skewers to different heights to create more tension.
We went through six tests and had to do multiple attempts to create accurate results. This
project has bettered our understanding of waves and how different things effect them.
Our group created a wave replica using duct tape, kabob skewers, and jelly babies. We
found our inspiration from a wave model we found from Pinterest. From this project we are
trying to figure out how tension affects the travel time of the wave. According to the higher the tension the faster the wave travels. For example, water is
more dense than air and sound waves travel faster in water because it is more dense/ has more
tension. Additionally, according to HyperPhysics, The velocity of a traveling wave in a
stretched string is determined by the tension and the mass per unit length of the string. We
believe that the more tension we put on the duct tape of the model the faster the wave will travel
down the model.
Question and Hypothesis:
How does the amount of tension put on the wave model affect the travel time of the
wave. We put more tension on the wave model by pulling the skewers up more and more each
test. We predicted that the more tension we put on the wave model the faster the wave would
travel across the model. Our dependant variable was how long it took the wave to travel across
the model and our independent variable was how high we pulled the skewers up.

Methods and Materials:

For this experiment we will create a model wave that is made of duct tape, skewers, and
gummy babies. This model will be designed in a way that resemble a DNA strand. The
skewers will be placed two inches apart perpendicularly on a long piece of duct tape 8 feet and
3 inches long. There will be approximately 45 skewer each with two gummy babies on either
side of the skewer. To hold the model together we will place another piece of duct tape along the
top of the model so that the skewers are held in place from both sides. When all put together
this model will move like a wave because the duct tape is limber enough that when one side of
the model is disturbed it will affect the rest of the model by causing waves to travel through the
duct tape as the disturbance passes along the model. This will cause the skewers to sway in
wave like pattern as a disturbance travels along the model.

Tension(How far the skewer is pulled up)


2 inches


3 inches


4 inches


5 inches


6 inches


7 inches


We are doing this project because we wanted to get a deeper understanding of waves.
From testing our wave replica we expected that the more tension we created the faster the
wave would go. My group was correct, our results concluded that the more tension the faster
the wave goes. The independent variable affects the dependent variables because when we pull
the skewer it affects the speed of the wave. The speed of the wave is depending on how much
tension we create. We were correct the more tension the faster the wave travels. We believed
that the tension created would increase the travel speed of the wave because the velocity,
distance over time, is dependent on the tension in the wave.
The data taken was accurate because we kept everything very consistent, For example all of
our materials were the same. The data taken was very accurate. If we did this project again then
we would work to secure the our wave replica. Unfortunately, the duct tape was not strong
enough to hold the wave so we had to retape it to itself multiple times. Furthermore, these
results are important because now we understand how tension correlates with waves. With this
project we could have also tested how the medium affects the speed. To test the medium we

could place more gummy babies on the skewers. This could affect the waves amplitude due to
its ability to move with heavier objects.

"The Speed of a Wave." The Speed of a Wave. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2016.
"Vibrating String." HyperPhysics. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 May 2016

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