Illusions of Optics

Explore the nature of light, perception, vision, waves and the electromagnetic spectrum. Apply what you have learned to explain how optical illusions work.

Major Concepts To Be Explored:

  • How are the brain and nervous system responsible for perception?
  • What are the properties of light and waves?
  • How can the brain be “tricked” by illusions

Essential Standards:

  • (4.P.3.2; 6.P.1.1; 6.P.1.2)

Goals of the Program:

  • To introduce students to the properties of light and how we perceive light.
  • To provide an opportunity for students to explore different illusions and hypothesize as to how and why they are effective.

Class Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the properties of light
  • Explain how the eye and brain work together in perception
  • Make a claim about how various illusions work
  • Provide evidence that supports their claim.

Methods and Activities:

  • A brief introduction will introduce students to the properties of light and how humans perceive light.
  • Students will rotate through activity stations in which they will explore the properties of light and various illusions.
  • Students will make a claim to explain how they believe the illusions work, providing evidence to support their claims.

Key Vocabulary:

Frequency, Amplitude, Wavelength, Reflect, Refract, Absorb, Cornea, Lens, Iris, Retina, Optic Nerve

Set-up Needs:

  • 5 tables for student activity stations.
  • Teaching/presentation space must be accessible via wheeled cart.
  • Access to electricity.
  • Screen or whiteboard for projected materials.
  • The ability to control light levels in the teaching space.
  • Approximate set-up and clean-up time – 30 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.
  • Secure storage location for materials if left overnight.

Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300
  • Grades 4 - 6
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • $150 first class / $125 each additional class (same class, same day)
  • Maximum 25 students