Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Light: Refraction

What happens to beams of LIGHT when they pass from one kind of material to another?

  • tall clear glass or plastic container
  • water
  • straw or pencil

  • Fill 1/2 to 3/4 of the container with water.
  • Place a pencil or straw in the water.
  • Have the children OBSERVE the container.
  • Ask them to DESCRIBE what they see.
  • Ask the kids if they think the straw/pencil is bent.
  • Have them take the straw/pencil out of the water to examine it.
  • Then return the straw/pencil to the container.
  • Can the children EXPLAIN what is happening?

Explanation: Light travels through materials. When light goes from one material (AIR) into a different material (WATER), its beams BEND.This bending of light beams is what causes the straw/pencil to look broken! This bending is called REFRACTION.

vegetable oil and water

1 comment:

  1. I like the way you cover these topics in science, because our kids are lagging behind in this field. Keep up the good work!



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