The Colors of Light
Today we continue our Science discoveries with the Great Lab of Sciences! The activity box has really been engaging and we have tons of fun each time.
This time, we learned about Optics -- the science that studies all aspects of sight and the behavior of light. Think about eyeglasses, magnifying lenses, telescopes, microscopes, and cameras! These devices were created with the help of optics.
Inside our Great Lab of Sciences box, we have two activities related to Optics. First, we picked up Newton's disc. It was a fairly simple item, but really cool once we started to discover what it does. There were only two components to the Newton's disk:
- a round card with all the colors of the rainbow
- spinning top
Newton's Disc was created by Isaac Newton to prove his theory that white light is formed by the combination of the seven colors of the rainbow.
By spinning this simple tool, the colors on the disc are transformed into a whitish hue. This is an effect of a phenomenon called persistence of vision, where the colors "mix" in our brain when an object moves at high speed.
Our eyes overlap the colors and the brain reads this information as the combination of all the colors of the solar light -- white.
We had fun taking turns in spinning the disc. At one point, we even had a challenge of who can successfully drop and insert the colored cardboard to the spinning top while it is moving. Such great fun, playing with and discovering colors and light!
When we were done with the Newton's disc, Little Miss decided that it was time to assemble the periscope.
A periscope is an optical device consisting of lenses or mirrors that allow the user to observe his surrounding while below the one that is being observed. Periscopes are used in submarines and were also used to spy on enemies' movements during World War II!
To create the periscope, the Great Lab of Sciences activity box provided:
- a tall rectangular box with flaps and slots to support the mirrors
- two mirrors (actually just a cardboard with shiny surface)
"I look weird!"
Little Miss had fun assembling the periscope. She curiously read the instructions provided in the Science manual.
The cardboard box provided support to the mirrors which are placed parallel to each other at an angle of 45°, at the opposite ends.
The light enters from the top and it bounces between the mirrors. The one closest to the eye (the lower one) reflects the image that appears at the top opening, thus allowing the user to observe the surroundings while remaining hidden.
Since the mirrors that were provided were not too good (they were cardboard), we intend to make another periscope using actual mirrors and see how well it functions. In the meanwhile, we still enjoyed the funny reflections we got with this one!
Our previous Great Lab of Sciences Activities:
|Anatomy For Kids: The Human Skeleton|
|My (Patient) Little Paleontologists|
|Our First Science Activity for 2021: Planting|
Up next... the volcano!
This is but another baking soda and vinegar experiment, which we have done several times already. But hey, what's wrong with another, right?! We will definitely share that when the kids decide to do it. In the meanwhile, have some fun with this "mentows" video by Little Man. 😁