Lesson 2: Light

Day 3

Activity 7: Light Travels

Materials: clay (kit), flashlights (kit), note cards (kit), piece of cardboard (kit), ruler, scissors
What path do you think light takes as it travels from one place to another? Does it move back and forth? Spread out like a fan? Is it crooked? Follow the directions of this experiment on the "Light Travels" activity page.
Light Travels
Student Activity Page
Review the fact that light travels in a straight line from a light source. It is reflected or absorbed when it hits a surface.

Activity 8: Refraction

Materials: clear glass cup, flashlights (kit), pencil, white paper
Refraction is the bending of light. Light bends as it passes from one transparent medium to another at an angle. Light responds differently to transparent objects, such as glass or water, than it does when it hits objects that you cannot see through.

Put a pencil in a clear glass of water. What does the pencil look like? The light is traveling at an angle, so one part of the light hits the water before the other. The water bends the light. You can also observe refraction by going in a dark room, putting a cup of water on a white sheet of paper, and shining a flashlight through the water. What happens? Does the light that hits the glass of water come out in the same way it went in?

A magnifying glass makes things look larger. Have you ever wondered why? The lens refracts light. The lens is wider in the middle than around the edge, and the bottom curves outward. This makes the object appear larger. If the bottom curved inward, the refracted light would make the object look smaller. Telescopes, microscopes, and cameras all refract light.
Discuss the difference between reflection and refraction. Refraction occurs when light passes through a transparent surface and the light is bent. Transparent surfaces do not reflect or absorb light, they bend light.

Activity 9: Shadows

Materials: flashlights (kit)
What happens when you go in a dark room, shine a flashlight on the wall, and put your hand between the light and the wall? Try it now.

A shadow is cast when you block out light. Practice making different types of shadows in a dark room with a flashlight and a variety of objects. It might be helpful to have an assistant hold the light source. How do you make the shadow change? Write three observations about shadows.
For this activity your child will experiment with making shadows.