It’s been another wonderful science-driven holiday season! We’ve experimented with balloons that blast-off, nearly unsinkable dinghies, delicious math candies, stackable liquids, desiccated dancers, split light, and put a minature Jaques Cousteau in a bottle. Tonight we’re going to give Hanukkah a fine send-off with another trick of the light.
I got the idea for this experiment, not from the internet or a science book, but from a simple game I developed to teach my five year-old about angles. We call it the Acute Obtuse game, and all it takes to play is a ball and a wall. But balls aren’t the only bounce-able toys. It’s easy to turn wall-ball into flashlight geometry.
The instructions for this experiment are simple (materials are in bold):
- Draw a target on a paper plate, and tape it to a wall or ceiling.
- Using modeling clay, stand a discarded CD upright on a paper plate.
- Turn out the lights in the room.
- Shine a flashlight on the CD and try to angle it so the reflected light hits the target.
- For more fun, use a laser pointer and multiple CDs to hit targets hidden behind obstacles!