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What wonderful item did Alexander Graham Bell invent? History and technology come together in this recycled construction.
Many areas of the world like to claim Alexander Graham Bell as their own. He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland; lived in London, Ontario, and Boston, Massachusetts; and vacationed in Nova Scotia. He truly was a man of the world---who was primarily interested in helping people who could not hear well. The whole world benefited from his dedication.
Students find out what challenges Aleck faced before he got to that fateful March 10, 1876, when he said into a mouthpiece "Mr. Watson – Come here – I want to see you" and was heard through a receiver in the other room by his partner. Here's one way to build an authentic model of that first telephone. Use your own ideas, too. Look at pictures because Bell's model didn't look anything like today's phones.
With black construction paper, roll two cone shapes. Glue the paper's edges with Crayola® School Glue. Air dry.
Glue the two small ends into each other to create an hourglass shape for the speaker mouthpiece. Air dry.
To make the membrane transmitter, crimp up the edges of a paper plate. Glue into a dish shape. Air dry.
Cover your art area with newspaper. Paint the crimped outer edge of the membrane with gold Crayola Premier Tempera and Paint Brushes. Paint several craft sticks gold as well. Air dry.
Cover the outer bottom of the membrane with a light color of Crayola Washable Multicultural Paint. Air dry.
For the reed receiver and battery, cut a recycled paper towel roll into two sections: one a spool-sized section and a slightly longer one (to fit between the membrane and a support stick holding the battery).
Cut the longer cardboard roll section in half down the middle. Tightly roll up and glue into a small pole. Paint these the same colors as materials used in the real instrument. Air dry.
Cut a recycled black foam produce tray into a mouthpiece.
Connect all pieces to painted craft sticks; poke sticks through the mouthpiece at one end, followed by the transmitter, and the battery hanging on the pole through a support stick. Push other collage materials through foam for electrical connectors. Use chenille stems as wires. Have fun talking to each other!
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