Can you hear me? Science festival will attempt a new tin can phone world record

Tin can phone set up

The tin can phone will stretch from Connaught Gardens to Bedford steps - Credit: Chris Potter, CC BY 2.0

This year the festival team will aim to break a world record!

On Saturday, October 9, the Sidmouth Science Festival will hope to demonstrate to the public the world's longest functioning tin can telephone. 

Experiments have been going on in a back garden and kitchen to demonstrate the principles and the fascinating science behind what seems to be such a simple device. Will we be able to extend these experiments from a mere 17-metre-long telephone to an amazing 350 metres?

The record attempt will take place between Connaught Gardens and Bedford steps with a speaker at Connaught Gardens and a listener at Bedford steps. To ensure the record is authorised by the Guinness World Records, a sentence not known to the listener must be spoken by the speaker and repeated by the listener to an official. A total of 10 words must be spoken.

Liz Bramley from the festival said: “We want you to help by coming up with your 10 word sentence suggestion that we can use in the record attempt. The festival team will pick the best and keep it a secret from the listener. We would suggest that you consider words that can be easily enunciated and would be clear when spoken to another person. The winner will receive a £25 book token. Good luck.”

Applications should be sent to by 5pm Thursday, October 7. Please include your name and contact details, either email or a phone number.

This year’s Science Festival will be taking place from October 8 to October 17. 
The organisers were hoping to organise as 'normal' a festival as possible while being mindful of the Covid risks. Festival organisers are in the process of consulting with exhibitors and presenters, as well as potential audience members, on their views on the risks introduced by Covid. To keep up to date with  further news on how the festival will be held go to:

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