For Ages 10 and Up

Detecting IR light using a CCD

Remote controls for devices like televisions, cable boxes, and DVD players typically operate in the infrared. On the front of the remote is a light emitting diode (LED) that produces light in the infrared region. The light flashes quickly to produce a sequenced pattern, which the device being controlled then reads and interprets as a command.

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Detecting IR light using a thermometer

Light coming from the sun is made up of a large range of wavelengths. It contains light from the ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions

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Why do things glow in the dark?

Have you ever had glow in the dark stars and planets on the ceiling in your room? How does it work? Why do the stars still glow after the lights are turned off?

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How do polarized sunglasses work?

Polarized sunglasses have a special film on the lens that helps reduce glare. Glare is what you see when the sunlight reflects off of a surface like water or snow. It’s very popular with outdoor enthusiasts, skiers, bikers, and fishermen. How do these glasses work? This activity will explain what polarized light is and how polarizers work

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How Our Eyes See Everything Upside Down

The human eye is the second most complex organ in our body after the brain. It's amazing that something so small (the size of a ping pong ball) can have 2,000,000 working parts!

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Colors and Spectroscopy

Do you know why we can see a rainbow in a sunny rainy day? Do you know what a color is?

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What sees better: Your eye or a phone camera?

Do you know how close together can words be on a road sign so you can still read it from a distance? How close can objects can be to be seen as separate objects? Is the vision of person with spectacles better than yours? Why we can see much smaller objects using scanning electron microscopy comparing to white light microscopy?

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Bending Light

Make a lens and see how your eye manipulates the light that enters it.

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Lens Activity: Looking Through Lenses

A lens is a piece of transparent material typically with at least one curved surface, which refracts, or bends, light rays coming from an object. In this activity you will look at only two kinds of lenses, convex and concave, and observe their similarities and differences.

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Lose a Glass in a Glass

Use this activity to demonstrate the role of indexes of refraction in our ability to differentiate the appearance of different materials. Note: adult supervision is recommended for this activity because it involves paint thinner.

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Make a Light Fountain

Use this activity to illustrate light reflection, specifically total internal reflection, as well as how fiber optics work.

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Make a Telescope

This activity demonstrates how to make a simple telescope using two lenses and a cardboard tube.

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Mirrors and Images

What is it that lets us see objects? Some objects, such as the sun, give off their own light. Most objects, however, do not. These objects must reflect light in order to be seen.

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Light Mixing

The goal of the series of experiments is to allow students to learn how different colors of light can interact and mix to produce various new colors. The experiment utilizes 3 different color LEDs (red, green, and blue) to produce a wide range of colors. Many of the current video displays, such as a computer monitor or TV, uses the concept of additive color, where three different colors of light are combined in order to produce a wide range of colors. The primary colors often used are red, green, and blue. Through different combinations and proportions, it is possible to cover the entire visible spectrum. For example, equal parts of red and green, green and blue, and red and blue produce yellow, cyan, and magenta, respectively. These generated colors are known as additive secondary colors. Combining all three primary colors creates white light.

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