Sunday, March 28, 2010

Science Sunday - Concave, Convex, and Focal Points of a Magnifying Glass

We kept our Science Sunday project pretty simple, today. My husband has been out of town for the weekend (helping my folks move), and after herding six children to church, and back, on my own, this morning, simple sounded good.

First, over lunch, I pointed out to the younger children, if they looked at their reflections on the back of their spoons, while holding the spoon up normally, they looked kind of skinny, but if they turned the spoon sideways, they looked fat, and if they flipped the spoon over, and looked at the front part, they looked upside down. I explained, very briefly, about light bouncing off of concave (dipped in), and convex (bowed out) surfaces.

Then, I pulled out a couple of magnifying glasses (which have convex lenses), and showed the children, if they look through them they could see a magnified projection of what was on the other side. As they pulled the magnifying glass away from what they were looking at, the object looked bigger, and bigger, gradually becoming blurry, and then suddenly, coming back into focus, but upside down. This phenomenon has to do with the focal point of the lens.

We watched an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy, about light and optics (you can view it online, here), that explained about convex, and concave lenses, and how light is reflected, focused, and bent. Most of it was a little wild, and complicated for the younger children though, so after nap, I'm hoping to follow it up with The Magic School Bus Gets a Bright Idea (which is also on the link above).
Anyway, they had quite a good time making each other turn upside down, with the magnifying glasses.
You can find more kid's science fun at this week's Science Sunday link up, at Adventures in Mommydom.

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Debbie said...

I love the simplicity of this! I miss watching Bill Nye the Science Guy. He is from Seattle, near us. My older kids used his show for a lot of their science. I will have to check out some of the videos.

Unknown said...

Simple Science ROCKS!!!!

Ticia said...

Okay, I'm digging up my magnifying glasses.
And I'm with Debbie, I miss Bill Nye.

Joyful Learner said...


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

Magnifying glasses are fun. I finally got Anna something a little nicer that her party favor pack. Maybe it will be in her Easter basket.