In this activity, learners use Jell-O to explore lenses and different angles of light entry.
In a convex lens, the light rays converge (bend) together until they meet at a single point. They then crisscross and spread out again. In a concave lens, the light rays spread out never converging to a single spot. The strength of the lens depends on its shape and the material it is made of. If you have more Jell-O, try different curvatures and see how the light behaves with each shape. The neat thing about these simple lenses is that you can layer them to manipulate light in many ways. Optical engineers work with combinations of lenses every day to advance the technology of devices such as binoculars, microscopes and cameras.