This week we were lucky to be able to explore the science of light using donated photonics kits from the IEEE Photonics Society. The IEEE Photonics Society distributed kits to groups around the world “to show young women and pre-university students how photonics impacts the world around them” through their “Introduce a Girl to Photonics Week” Initiative. The kits were awesome! Thanks!
Radost led the activity and organized it into three rotation stations. Each station was designed to teach the girls different facts about light:
- You can make new colors with light; white light is made up of many colors.
I ran the color mixing station and had the girls write down their hypotheses of what color we would see when we mixed the different colored lights. Most of the girls correctly predicted that red and blue light would make purple, but not one girl predicted we would see white light when we mixed all three. This was a very exciting finding! We then looked at the ceiling lights in the room through a film that separates the white light into separate colors. This provided two different lines of evidence that white light is a combination of many colors.
Light does different things when it hits different materials- it can be blocked or passed through.At this station, Radost taught the girls the meaning of the words: opaque, transparent, and translucent. The girls tested the ability of light to go through different materials and categorized the materialized into three categories based on these new vocabulary words. At the end, the girls were given a mirror to test, which demonstrated that light can also be reflected!
At the end of the three rotations, the girls had the choice to (1) read about light in the books provided, (2) experiment with the colored lights, or (3) make a color wheel.
Overall, we had a blast learning about light!