Create a simple lens science experiment : Fizzics Education


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Create a simple lens

Create a simple lens

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • A shoebox
  • A torch
  • Scissors
  • White paper
  • A dark room
  • A straight-sided glass of water (short enough to sit within with the shoebox)


Create a simple lens science experiment - materials needed
1 Create a simple lens science experiment - cutting the cardboard box

Cut a 5mm wide slit into one side of the shoebox.

2 Create a simple lens science experiment - cutting a slit in cardboard

Cut a similar slit into the other side of the show box.

3 Create a simple lens science experiment - shining torchlight through a slit

Turn off the lights and shine the torchlight through the slits.

4 Create a simple lens science experiment - image formed with no glass

Hold a piece of white paper at one end of the shoe box. You should see a thin slit of light on the paper.

5 Create a simple lens science experiment - adding a glass of water

Now place the glass of water inside the shoebox, between the two slits.

6 Create a simple lens science experiment - expanded image formed using glass of water

Again, shine the torch through the two slits, and glass, and onto your sheet of paper.

What do you see?

8 Teacher showing how to do an experiment outside to a group of kids.

Online courses for teachers & parents

– Help students learn how science really works

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9 A burst of rainbows coming out of a white light source

Get the Unit of Work on Light & Colour here!

  • What is colour addition vs subtraction?
  • What is opacity, translucence & transparency?
  • What is the difference between refraction & reflection?
  • Explore UV light, lenses, thermochromism and more!

Includes cross-curricular teaching ideas, student quizzes, a sample marking rubric, scope & sequences & more

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Why Does This Happen?

When you look at the light as it shines through the glass of water, you should see that the rectangle of light on the paper spreads out. As light enters the water in the glass it is bent. This happens because light moves more slowly through water than it does when travelling through air. This makes the light ‘spread out’ more so it creates a broader beam of light. This bending of light is called ‘refraction’.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • Try different width slits in the box
  • Try different shaped glasses inside the box

A man with a glove above a liquid nitrogen vapour cloud

Learn more!


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