Summer Fun Activity: NASA Optics Educator's Guide

Another excellent resource from NASA. Optics: Light, Color, and Their Uses Educator’s Guide is a 98-page download with STEM-focused activities for K–12.

The guide includes 18 lessons or activities. Each lesson includes the objective, theory, materials needed, procedures, and leading questions from which to draw conclusions. Sounds like a great opportunity to practice the scientific method! A Junior Home Scientist section provides opportunities for further experimentation.

One of the outstanding features of this guide is the illustrations! So perfect for creating an Optics Notebook!

Not all of the activities are appropriate for all of the grade levels. However, an index at the front provides guidelines, as does a label at the beginning of each activity. Of course, in a home setting you can always bring the younger ones along.

Topics covered include:

  • Reflection of light.
  • Making a periscope.
  • Constructing a spectroscope.
  • Diffraction.
  • Exploring color with a prism.
  • Filters.
  • Magnifiers.
  • Focusing light with lens.
  • Building a telescope.
  • Building a microscope.
  • Polarization.

And much more!

There is room on the activity sheets for recording information. However, it is usually best to use notebook paper to allow for more space.

Answers have been provided in the back along with further resources and a glossary.
Obviously the optics guide would work well all year long, but it is a very valuable resource to keep ’em learning over the summer!

Free Resource

Additional Resources
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #7 Science

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #7 Science
Suggestions for keeping an optics notebook, along with notebooking page options.

Sun Dogs: A Unit Study on Light & Optics
Perfect tie-in with our optics unit!

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