Cool Labs

Refraction: Converging Lenses
Refraction: Converging Lenses

Students investigate images formed by converging lenses using the Light Box & Optical Set, and discover the Focal Point. Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets Required Equipment

Index of Refraction
Index of Refraction

The semicircular block is ideal for a first quantitative activity on refraction. When placed as in this activity, rays bend only when exiting the block, simplifying observations. Students will measure angles of incidence and refraction, and calculate the index of...

Law of Reflection of Light Pt. II
Law of Reflection of Light Pt. II

Observe objects through a periscope. Draw ray diagrams to explain image formation. Extend the activity by rotating one of the periscope mirrors and explaining the resulting inverted image. Required EquipmentPeriscope Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets Required Equipment

Reflection and Refraction
Reflection and Refraction

The Law of Reflection states that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection. Students will use ray tracing to predict the location and image characteristics for flat and curved mirrors. Students will use ray tracing to...

Images Produced by Curved Mirrors
Images Produced by Curved Mirrors

Students use the Light Box and Optical Set's two different curved mirrors to investigate how light reflects from concave mirrors. Students make predictions and observations, and make generalizations about the focal point of a mirror, depending on its curvature. Download...

Color Addition and Subtraction
Color Addition and Subtraction

"Think red and green make brown? Only with paint and crayons! In color science, those colors of light make yellow. When I demonstrate that with the Color Mixing Spotlights, students discover there's no one answer for what color a strawberry...

The Fiber Optics Principle
The Fiber Optics Principle

Students discover that magic is really science… Students got so fascinated with air to water refraction that they raced ahead to explore other possibilities. One group called me over when they found that when the laser beam hit the water...

Lab #29.12   Light: Trapping the Light Fantastic
Lab #29.12 Light: Trapping the Light Fantastic

PurposeIn this activity, students will investigate the behavior of light as it passes from one transparent material to another. DiscussionWhen light passes from one transparent material to another, it undergoes refraction. If the light crosses the boundary between the materials...

Lab #29.3   Light: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Lab #29.3 Light: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Purpose In this activity, students will investigate the minimum size mirror required for you to see a full image of yourself. Discussion Why do shoe stores and clothier shops have full-length mirrors? Need a mirror be as tall and wide...

Lab #27.8   Light: Sunballs
Lab #27.8 Light: Sunballs

PurposeIn this activity, students will estimate the diameter of the sun. Discussion Take notice of the round spots of light on the shady ground beneath trees. These are sunballs—images of the sun. They are cast by openings between leaves in...

Lab #27.6   Light: Pinhole Image
Lab #27.6 Light: Pinhole Image

Purpose In this activity, students will investigate the operation of a pinhole "lens" and compare it to the eye. Discussion The image cast through a pinhole in a pinhole camera has the property of being in clear focus at any...

Color Addition
Color Addition

Students use the Light Box and Optical Set to observe the results of combining beams of colored light. Concepts include primary and secondary color addition and complementary colors. Download Teacher Notes and Student Worksheets Required Equipment Acknowledgements: Thank you to...