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Q & A: Reflections for Lab

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
I am in need of a general lab about Mirrors and Reflection, that I can do with a 4th-6th grade class. I was wondering if you had any you would like to share. Thank you
- Julie Hutchinson (age 18)
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, indiana, Pa, USA
A:
The basics of light fall into 2 forms, reflection and refraction. Refration (bending) is probably a little too much for 4-6 graders, but reflection is easy and fun.

There are a few things that you can do with mirrors. A good place to start might be with setting up a few mirrors and showing how light can move around a book or something that is in the way, giving the illusion of a whole in the book. I remember seeing that in a science fair when I was in grade school and thought it was the coolest thing in the world.

Related to that is a simply periscope. That is a good demonstration of reflection and the children will think it's cool especially if they know about submarine or spy movies.

The other thing that I can think of would be a little harder on you equipment wise. If you could get a curved mirror, you could show them how the light bounces off and that's why the image looks funny. The inverted image that appears in a concave mirror might be a little too much for them though.

Adam

(published on 10/22/2007)

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