LEARNING ABOUT LIGHT

Activities:

- Camera Obscura

- Pinhole Camera

Age Group: To be able to participate in our activites, the kids can be of ages 4 and up. However, to be able to fully understand the concept that we are trying to put across, the kids have to be of ages 9 and up.

 

The goal of this activity is for children to learn about the behavior of light through the use of a pinhole camera. The children will explore some properties of light using a Camera Obscura. From the knowledge they gain, they will be able to construct a pinhole viewer of their own under the supervision of their teacher. By experimenting with their pinhole viewers, children will learn the basics of how light behaves.

Observing the world through the Camera Obscura and the Pinhole Camera, the children will notice that the images are inverted. They will then be asked to complete a simple ray diagram that will show how the images get inverted.

 

Supplies Needed:

Instructions for making Camera Obscura (pdf version)

Lesson Plan for using Activity Kit (pdf version)

 

Instructions for making Pinhole Viewer (pdf version)

Step 1:
Cut one of the cardboard tubes along the length, so that it opens out into a rectangle. Re-roll it into a cylinder (just like the way it was before) but this time overlap the ends so that the roll is a smaller cylinder. Tape the ends together and staple to reinforce it. It should be able to fit into the other toilet roll. You have just constructed tube 1.

Step 2:
Cut out a square of wax paper (bigger than the circumference of the tube) and cover one end of tube 1 with the wax paper. Push the sides of the wax paper that are sticking out from the hole, down against the tube. Use the rubber band to secure the wax paper to the tube, ensuring that the hole is entirely covered by the wax paper when you do this. Make sure that this tube with the wax paper and rubber is still able to fit tightly into the the other toilet roll.

Step 3:
Cut out a square of black paper bigger than the circumference of the second toilet roll and cover one end of the toilet roll the black paper. Push the sides of the black paper that are sticking out from the hole, down against the tube. Use the rubber band to secure the black paper to the tube, ensuring that the hole is entirely covered by the black paper when you do this.
With a pin make a small hole in the center of the black paper. This is tube 2.

Step 4:
Insert tube 1 with the wax paper into tube 2. The end with the wax paper should go head first into the open end of the other tube.

You now have a pinhole camera! You can decorate it if you like. Look through the open end of tube 1 so that you can see the wax paper. Aim it towards a light source like a bulb, the sun or even a window and look at the wax paper. Move tube 1 in and out of tube 2 to focus the image you see. What do you notice?

 

Juliana Lim - Mark Rau - Ruchi Sanghvi