How Can You Stop Electromagnetic Radiation From Penetrating A Certain Area?

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Updated on Mar 31, 2010


Physics (electromagnetism)


Elementary school

Difficulty of Project




Safety Issues


Material Availability

Easily available from the drugstore or your home.

Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

About a day


To understand how you can create your own Faraday Cage!

  • A cell phone
  • Tin Foil
  • A radio
  • A walky-talky


What happens if you are in a car that gets struck by lightning?Would you die?The answer is that you'd never be able to work that car again, but you would feel nothing at all.You'd walk away just fine!Why is that?It's because of a principal that Faraday discovered.If external waves like lightning or radio waves encounter an outer shell made of a material that conducts electricity, all of the charge will go into the shell, and the item inside will feel no effect at all!But does this work on all objects?What about a radio?Or a cell phone?

Research Questions
  • How can you stop electromagnetic radiation from penetrating a certain area?
  • What kinds of radiation does it block?
Terms, Concepts and Questions to Start Background Research
  • What is electromagnetic radiation?
  • How do Faraday Cages work?
  • What are radio waves and how do they compare to lightning?

  1. Find a cell phone, and wrap it in tin foil.
  2. Try to call this cell phone.Do you hear it ringing?
  3. Now turn on the radio and wrap it in tin foil.Does it still work?
  4. Take one of the walky-talkies and wrap it in tin foil.Attempt to communicate with it from the second walky-talky.Do you hear any signal?


“Michael Faraday”.Kids and Energy.ESD Bulgaria.2005.

“Radio Waves”.The Electromagnetic Spectrum.NASA.March 27, 2007.

“Electromagnetic Radiation.”Kids Research Express.

A graduate of Brandeis University, Sharon Cooper loves anything having to do with English, History, and Creative Writing. When she is not creating science fair ideas, she is translating Chaucer, writing short stories, or reading various works of literature. To discuss literature or literary experimentation, please contact Sharon at