The Human Camera
In this set of explorations, students become acquainted with the work of scientists who discovered the basic principles and applications of optics. Through the vignette of the work of a real person of the past, students replicate experiments and discover principles of refraction. Based on experiences, students understand why “thick” lenses magnify more, and how the lenses of the eye, through disease or age, change shape and magnification. Connected to the larger world, the optics experiences of students are contextualized. They connect their own inventions and work with those of modern day philanthropic efforts to distribute eye glasses to people of poverty and to scientists making better and cheaper eye wear.
Students are introduced to the range of human eyesight by testing both near and short sighted ranges and by examining peripheral vision and other limitations of human sight.
Students examine the squid-an organism having the largest eyes of the entire animal kingdom. They examine the anatomy, look at the eye and dissect the lens.
Part I: Students experiment with a plastic or glass lens to see how light is bent. They relate the action of the lens to the lens of a human eye.
Part II: Students use a laser to test various lenses. They track light rays and draw ray tracing diagrams to predict the path of light through the lens.
Students are reminded of the powerful rays of the sun and are invited to experiment to see how light can create chemical reactions and electrical signals. These priniples are applied to the physiology of the retina and optic nerve.
Given a real example of how one person made a difference by determining how to serve those with a loss of sight, students are challenged to design their own lenses using various materials. The purpose of the lesson is to give studens an open-ended opportunity to invent, assess, and evaluate their work.
Assessments Coming Soon