How does light and color impact our perception of objects? Students carry out five comprehensive, hands-on experiments to examine the nature of light, color and optics.
- Observe the reflection of light using mirrors and refraction of light through water and other transparent objects.
- Investigate the properties of concave and convex lenses, learn how to focus a “real image” onto a screen and create a working telescope!
- Compare the properties of different types of plastics with polarized light.
- Explore the nature of color—learning the difference between color mixing by addition and by subtraction—and study an optical illusion to discover that perceived colors are not always “black and white.”
Easy-to-set-up lab stations allow groups to work independently to explore specific aspects of light, color and optics then move on to the next station. Detailed instructions and Teacher Notes are provided.
Standard laboratory equipment and flashlights are required and available separately.
Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science & Engineering Practices
Obtaining, evaluation, and communicating information
Developing and using models
Analyzing and interpreting data
Planning and carrying out investigations
Disciplinary Core Ideas
MS-PS4.A: Wave Properties
MS-PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation
HS-PS4.A: Wave Properties
HS-PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation
Cause and effect
Energy and matter
Structure and function
MS-PS4-2: Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
HS-PS4-1: Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
HS-PS4-3: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind the idea that electromagnetic radiation can be described either by a wave model or a particle model, and that for some situations one model is more useful than the other.
HS-PS4-5: Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.