(1) Fiber Optics Kit
If you like fiber optics and don't know where to start this fiber optics kit can help. It has four hands on experiments and an informational booklet. Add in some reading about the history of fiber optics and where they are used.
If you are looking for something more advanced, continue with a study of Snell's Law. A laser pointer and an aquarium full of water can be used to study this law (no fish in the aquarium - they just cast shadows).
(2) Mirrors and images
A study of mirrors can make a fine science project. And, who hasn't been intrigued by a mirror?
Flat mirrors are used to make coins seemingly disappear when dropped into this coin bank. See our physics tutorial
page for an explanation.
If you're on a tight budget, try teaspoon optics. Use a really shiny teaspoon without too many scratches. The
inside of a teaspoon is a concave mirror, while the back side is a convex mirror. Again, check out the tutorials page
for more help.
A super cool application of mirrors is the Mirage. Set an object inside and it magically appears above. Reach for it, but there's nothing there!
Only two concave mirrors are at work here.
A great attention grabber, with you as the star offering the explanation. We have a
short explanation of how this works on the Mirage product page and in the physics tutorials.
(3) Optics and Art
Think you hate science, but love art? Perhaps optics deserves a second chance.
Turn a large box into the casing of a pinhole camera. A sketch of how to do this is found on
the tutorials page under pinhole camera optics. You could turn an entire room into a pinhole camera
with the scenery outside as a subject. Set up a canvas and start sketching away. (When you're done, you will want to turn the drawing right side up.)
Some of the great artists in history may have used optical techniques to assist them in their creations. Research these in your library
and you are on your way to a science project.
(4) Polarization in Nature
Many people are familiar with polarized sunglasses, but did you know that the light in the sky is polarized? This is
the basis of the polarization compass.
If you know the time of day, the polarization compass will give you your directions. If you know which way is north, this
marvelous device will give you the time of day!
A link to writings on polarization in history, bugs, and more are found in the polarization compass product description.