Lesson 3
Part 1

Lighten Up: Designing Lighting Systems

Shedding Light on It (1) / Grade 3 / Fairfax, VT

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Lighten Up: Designing Lighting System, L3.1

Students experiment with reflecting light using mirrors and learn about light intensity.

Reflection Questions

Lesson 3 requires careful setup of materials for light path and reflection testing. What strategies do you see Sandy using to help students visualize and understand expectations?

Sandy makes use of the overhead document viewer as a tool for demonstrating setup and sharing results. 

  • Using the overhead document viewer, Sandy is able to demonstrate the placement of Card A (with two slits cut out) and the flashlight so that students can observe the light path. (1:59)
  • To share what they observed, Sandy has students manipulate materials under the document viewer. (3:27)
  • Sandy projects the image of the protractor from the guide so that students can follow her discussion of angles of reflection and “see” the symmetry of the angles. (10:28)

How do you see Sandy and her students using math in this lesson?

The light unit provides an opportunity for students to apply what they know about geometry. Students explore angles, measure them, and consider their symmetry.

  • In their free exploration of mirrors, students repeatedly describe how they had “to angle” the mirror to get the reflection to bounce off in a certain direction. (1:07)
  • When investigating the angles of incidence and reflection, students use gestures to demonstrate their knowledge of rays and angles. (6:21, 7:49, 8:04, and 8:26)
  • When Sandy introduces the protractor, students measure light ray angles in degrees for the first time. (8:34, 8:50)
  • One student explains that the incidence and reflection rays have "their own line of symmetry down the middle." (9:59)