Date posted: January 14, 2015

Can you engineer a package that reduces noise?

Here’s an experiment from Family Engineering: An Activity & Event Planning Guide that lets you try:


  • 2 small identical containers with tight-fitting lids
  • dry beans or small coins
  • 2 identical one quart plastic containers with lids
  • a variety of materials for testing, enough of each to fill the larger containers: felt, cotton balls, bubble wrap, newspaper, tissue paper, paper towels, netting, foil, Styrofoam peanuts, etc.


  • Make two noisemakers using the smaller containers and dry beans or small coins. Tape the lids on. Shake it to see what sound it makes.
  • Using one larger container and one testing material, design a package that will muffle the noise. Put the noisemaker in, close the lid and shake it. Can you still hear the noisemaker?
  • Try again with the other large container and a different test material. Which one is better at soundproofing?

For more fun engineering activities, email to borrow Family Engineering: An Activity & Event Planning Guide.

Photos of any of the family engineering activities in action would make great Share Your Selfie Challenge entries.

Latest News