Fourth Graders Study Optical Properties of Solids
MRSEC researchers visited Clinton Elementary School to help students investigate the optical and electrical properties of solids. Twenty-three fourth-grade students did several different hands-on experiments involving electrical measurements, optical reflection and transmission, and observations of the refractive properties of transparent material. The students made and tested electrical circuits to study the conduction of various materials, including aluminum and glass. They used light from low-power lasers and other sources to study reflective and refractive properties of materials and how materials are shaped so that images can be formed. The students also investigated the colors of clothes observed through different optical filters.
The students learned that electrical conductors usually reflect light better than non-conductors and that some materials transmit light quite well. The session ended with a very active and wide-ranging question and answer period, where such matters as the properties of light from the sun and how different materials are made were discussed.
Highlight InfoDate: October 2007