Bat Echolocation Experiment

Bat Echolocation Experiment


  • 2 empty paper towel rolls per each set up
  • 2 aluminum pie plates per set up
  • masking tape
  • rulers

Background Information

Insect-eating bats are nocturnal hunters. Bats use their voice boxes to send out high pitch sounds either from their mouths or noses. When the sounds bounce off an object, the bat gets information about the texture, shape, size, and location of the object. The bat is using echolocation.

Bats also use echolocation for finding a mate and finding their young. Each species of bat produces a distinctive pattern of sound. Most sounds are ultrasonic and can’t be heard by humans.


Set up the experiment on a hard surface, a table works best. Tape down the tubes so that they are angled towards each other but are not touching. Place the aluminum pie plate on its edge, facing the tubes, but at least 12 inches away from it. Either tape it down or place books behind it for support. One child whispers into a tube. Another child listens for the sound to bounce off the pie plate and come back through the other tube.

Let the children experiment with the tubes to see if they can bounce sound off the classroom walls and furniture.

Activities provided by:

Fontenelle Forest
1111 N. Bellevue Blvd.
Bellevue, NE 68005

_ 0-1
_ 1-2
_ 2-3
✓ 3-4
✓ 4-5
✓ 5-6

Category: Group Activities

Iowa Early Learning Standards:
8.2, 9.3, 9.4, 10.4, 12.4, 12.5, 14.3

Related Kindernature Resources: