How to Make a Wave Machine

Written by jody wilber
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How to Make a Wave Machine
A wave machine can be an educational science project. (wave image by Mark from

Waves are made when wind brushes over the surface of the water. The wave forms in the ocean and then breaks near the shore. A wave machine can be made as a craft or for something more advanced, like a science project. Wave machines are helpful in demonstrating how waves break when they approach the shore. In this project, a white foam background is used to add depth and dimension to the waves.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 3-inch-by-4-inch-by-1-inch clear plastic bottle with screw-on lid
  • Hot glue
  • Plumber's tape
  • Mineral oil
  • Water
  • Blue food colouring
  • White craft foam

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  1. 1

    Buy a clear plastic bottle with a lid that will screw on tightly.

  2. 2

    Cover half of the bottle lengthwise with a sheet of foam by gluing on the foam.

  3. 3

    Fill 1/3 of the bottle with water.

  4. 4

    Add blue food colouring one drop at a time until the water is the colour you would like.

  5. 5

    Add mineral oil to the mixture. Fill the bottle with mineral oil until the consistency reaches the rim of the bottle.

  6. 6

    Wrap plumber's tape around the area of the bottle where you will secure the lid. These are called bottle threads.

  7. 7

    Place the lid on the bottle and secure tightly.

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