Light Waves Workshop
Physics light workshop for schools
This light waves workshop contains eight or more practical activities covering all major topics in the national curriculum including reflection, refraction, diffraction, pinhole camera, focusing, light spectrum, colored lights, and the eye. The activities are tailored for each key stage group.
2 x half-day,
max 50 students in a day,
contact us for bigger sessions.
Primary, Secondary, Sixth Form,
KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4, KS5
Learn how light waves reflect off mirrors with our light ray boxes.
Refraction, Diffraction and Light Focusing
Conduct further experiments with our optical kits to learn about refraction with glass blocks. Learn how light is focused inside the eye with a convex lens. Additionally, create a rainbow of coloured light waves by splitting a narrow beam of white light.
Students will learn the basics of a pinhole camera and observe how images appear inverted when they are captured from light waves. Modern cameras still use this basic principle to capture images.
Newton's Disc and Light Spectrum
Conduct the rotating disc physics experiment to demonstrate how white light is composed of colours of the rainbow.
Create a star constellation and watch them glow inside a dark box to learn how stars glow at night.
Typical Workshop Day
- Discuss the properties of light waves and how they travel.
- Practical - Use mirrors to reflect images and writing to understand how light reflects.
- Practical - Reflect a beam of white light off mirrors. Discuss the basic principle of angle of incidence = angle of reflection.
- Practical - Conduct an experiment to understand diffraction.
- Practical - Learn how refraction occurs in light waves as they travel through prisms with our light ray box and optics kit. We may also look at how refraction occurs as light travels through a beaker filled with water.
- Practical - Conduct an experiment with a convex lens to focus a triple light beam into a single spot. Discuss how light waves are focused inside the eye.
- Practical - Learn how a beam of white light going into a prism split into a spectrum (rainbow) of different colours.
- Practical - Observe images with our pinhole cameras and understand how light waves are captured by a camera. Discuss why the image appears upside down inside the camera and how the image can be stored permanently.
- Practical - Handout material to create a rotating colour disc. Then spin the disc using a motor and observe how the colours blend to appear white. Discuss optical mixing.
- Practical - Handout the star constellation patterns, glowing stickers, and tapes. Then ask each child to create a constellation. We will then charge the star constellations and watch them glow inside a light-box.
- Usually, we will reset the session and repeat it for another group of children on the same day. As with all our engagements, we will end the day with a street-dance performance.