Magical Experiment with Optics

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Hui Jing Lee
Universiti Tenaga Nasional (UNITEN), Malaysia

The “Magical Experiment with Optics” STEM workshop was held on the 19th of January, which involved a group of 31 12-years old students. The interactive workshop aims to expose students with the fundamental properties of light and the understanding of change in light behavior through medium and lenses. The workshop kickstarted with a session where students got to brain storm and wrote down their basic understanding about light on a sticky note. Some interesting concepts written by the students were “Light travels in a straight line”, “Propagation at the speed of light”, “Formation of shadow”, “Rainbow has seven colors”, “Light can change their path when they bounce on solid medium”, and many other interesting comments.

Soon after the brainstorming session, the students were sorted into four teams to conduct experiments which demonstrated the change in light behavior through lenses. Students were given six different lenses block: curve lens, rectangular, triangle, half circle, concave and convex lenses.

Students observed the change in the light path after passing through different shapes of lenses. They were excited and astonished when they saw the reflection, refraction, and dispersion behavior through the lenses. At the end of the session, students volunteered to share their observations and post-event impressions with their peers. “Light behavior changes across medium”, “Light reflection and refraction behave differently when passing through different shapes of lens block”, “It was fun to visualize the change in light behavior with our own eyes!” were some of the remarks from the students.

This event was organized in cooperation with Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (CINA) Union, Penang, Malaysia. The simple interactive STEM event with kids fosters curiosity in them and sparks their excitement in the Science learning process. Most importantly, the integration of STEM in Science boosts curiosity in kids, making the learning process fun and effective for the students.