Daylight in a Bottle

Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300

Millions of people in developing countries live in small houses with no windows or electricity. Experiment with recyclable materials and various liquids to design an electricity-free way to light homes during the day.

Essential Standards:

3.G.1.3, 4.P.3.2, 4.L.1.3

Major Concepts to be explored:

  • What is the Engineering Design Process?
  • How can a room be illuminated without electricity?
  • How can people with limited resources use engineering to solve problems?

21st Century Skills:

Learners will:

  • Communicate by sharing thoughts, questions, ideas, and solutions
  • Collaborate by working together to reach a goal – putting talent, expertise, and smarts to work
  • Think critically by looking at problems in a new way and linking learning across subjects and disciplines
  • Create, innovate, and invent by trying new approaches when presented with a challenge

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

  • 1-PS4-B

NGSS Engineering Practices:

  • 1-LS1-1

Goals of the Program/Class:

  1. To introduce students to the Engineering Design Process.
  2. To allow students to gain an understanding of problems in developing countries.

Behavioral Objectives:

  • Work with group to design and test a prototype.
  • Improve design throughout program.
  • Identify the components of an effective daylighting device.

Methods and Activities:

  • A brief introduction will familiarize students with a problem many developing countries are facing: lack of electricity.
  • Students will be introduced to the Engineering Design Process.
  • Students will experiment with refraction through various liquids.
  • Students will design a daylighting device to illuminate a large shadow box.
  • Students will share their observations and use evidence-based reasoning to support their conclusions.

Key Vocabulary:

Daylighting, Illumination, Opacity, Opaque, Refraction, Translucent, Transparent

Set-up needs:

  • Classroom with enough tables and chairs for students to work in groups of 2-3.
  • Access to water.
  • Enough floor space for 1-2 2.5’x5’ shadow boxes.
  • Teaching/presentation space must be accessible via wheeled cart.
  • Approximate set-up and clean-up time – at least 45 minutes before and after program.
  • Program will need to remain set up and secured from students for the entire day if multiple programs are booked.

Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300
  • Grades 3 - 8
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • $150 first class / $125 each additional class (same class, same day)
  • Maximum 25 students