Students got to explore light in five different stations. In the first station, students used private eyes to view items up close. In another station, students got to use microscopes to see prepared slides of plant and animal parts. The two labs helped them master the concept of refraction. The mirascope was used in station three while Newton's Color Disc was the focus of station four. These two stations focused on reflection. The final station required students to use qr codes to read about reflection and refraction.
There are three properties of objects that are associated with how light travels through them: opaque, translucent and transparent. Opaque objects will not let any light pass through it. Walker stated, " Our iPads are opaque. They do not let light to pass through them." Translucent objects will allow a portion of light to travel through it. You can see a shadow or outline. Max explained, "Paper is translucent because you can see a shadow behind the paper." Transparent objects will allow all light to pass through it. You can see details of an object on the other side of the transparent object. Aedan detailed, "My water bottle is fully see through. It is transparent."
Light refraction is the bending of light as it travels through objects. Students got to see this by filling a beaker with water. A smiley face disappeared right before their eyes. Another way to reinforce the objective of light refraction, was putting a pencil in water. Students saw and mastered how light is refracted as it travels through objects. They understood that the speed it travels through objects effects and ultimately bends the light energy. They also got to see a laser passing through different glass objects similar to prism and how the refraction effected the location of the laser dot on the wall. Finally, students read a passage from Gary Paulsen's Hatchet. In this story, the main character, Brain, has to adjust for the refraction while hunting for fish with a bow and arrows.
Students mastered the concept that light travels in a straight line and reflects off of smooth, shiny surfaces. In order to understand that light travels in a straight line, students had to shine a flashlight through 4 alined cards that contained holes. After seeing the result of the light on the wall, this confirmed that the light was traveling in a straight line. Afterwards, reflection was confirmed by shining the flashlight through 3 tubes with 2 mirrors reflecting the light in straight pathways onto the wall.
One of our core courses at Live Oak mainly focused on energy and how it is converted into electricity. Students were demonstrated many labs and activities: solar energy was used to make a cherry cobbler, hot and cold water made a fan turn, static electricity lit a florescent light bulb, etc. Nishtha exclaimed, "The cherry treat was made in a solar oven. It is so hard to believe that something this good was cooked in the sun!" Daniel explained, "When you put the light next to the Van de Graaff, static electricity will flow through it. Now when I put my hand on it, the light stops flowing behind my hand because I opened the circuit. When I put my other hand on it, the part behind it lights up because I closed the circuit."
I had the best hands-on demonstration but a volunteer I have ever had in my 17+ years of teaching. Austin Energy sent out a crew of four to present their job, equipment, electricity, their trucks, etc to my students. Paul, Matt, Alan and Thomas did a fantastic job of demonstrating and presenting. Because of the students were so engagement and interested, their 30 minute presentation turned into an hour long one. They were outstanding in their efforts, and I could not have asked more from them. They went above and beyond my expectations.Nishtha stated, "I thought it was neat learning about what they do and how it was related to everything we have learned in science about electrical energy." "It was cool seeing them use the buckets and interesting to learn that they don't wear their rings because they are conductors", exclaimed John.
I hope you enjoy learning how the garden changes throughout the school year.