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Exploring Lenses

A lens is a piece of transparent material with at least one curved surface, which refracts, or bends, light rays coming from an object. Lenses are important in optical devices that use light, including our eyes, cameras, telescopes, binoculars, microscopes, and projectors. All lenses, however, are not alike. There are many different types of lenses, each with their own characteristics and behaviors.

Required Materials

  • Science notebook
  • Set of lenses
  • Flashlight

Activity Directions

  1. With a partner, examine each of the lenses provided by your teacher one at a time.

  2. Look at different things around you with each of the lenses. Shine the flashlight on each of the lenses and compare how things look when you look through each lens.

  3. In your science notebook list each lens. Then, as you make your observations, write about each of the lenses. Make sure to answer the following questions:

      How do things look through the lens?

      What happens to the light when you shine it through the lens?

  4. Draw each of the lenses and label your drawings. Be sure to include a side (profile) view.

  5. Write 5 sentences about lenses.

  6. List any questions you have about lenses in your science notebook.

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