Light is a type of energy that allows us to see the world around us.
We need light to see. Light comes from different sources called light sources; Our main source of natural light is the sun. Other sources include fire, stars and man-made light sources, such as light bulbs and torches.
Thanks to the light, we see life in a glorious color: our eyes see different wavelengths of light as different colors.
Light also feeds the technology that surrounds us: laser beams make it possible for CD and DVD players and printers to be possible, microscopes and telescopes use lenses to bend the light (refraction), cameras record the light as reflected in objects and fiber optic cables and lasers allow us to communicate at incredible speed.
Reflection is how we use light to see around us.
Reflection is when light hits the surface of an object and then that light travels to our eyes so we can see. Objects such as tables and chairs reflect an image of the object itself so that we can see it. Very smooth and bright surfaces such as mirrors, water and some metals also reflect images; Because the rays of light flow in a straight line, flat mirrors reflect things and show us how they are (but inverted).
The moon reflects sunlight so we can see it shining in the sky.
Shadows are created when an opaque object (although not visible) blocks the light source. Shadows change according to the distance of the object from the light source and the position of the light source.
Light seems to travel in a straight line, traveling from light sources until it hits the surface of an object.
When are children taught about light?
In year 1, children explore materials and can use the terms opaque and transparent to describe different materials.
In year 3, children begin to fully explore the "light." They will explore the shadows and learn how shadows form when a light source is blocked by an opaque element. Children will consider the dangers of looking directly at light sources (mainly the sun) and how they can protect their eyes.
In year 6, children consolidate their knowledge of light. They extend this understanding by learning how light travels in a straight line. They will learn to understand that light travels from the source of light to an object and then is reflected in our eyes. Children consider why the shadows have the same shape as the object that created them. Children can also explore rainbows, bubble colors and light that seems to bend in the water.
How are children taught about light?
Children will learn about light from a variety of sources, such as the Internet, information books and presentations.
- They can be asked to complete activities such as identifying light sources by completing ICT games, classifying practically light sources or images.
- They will explore the light practically searching and creating shadows with sunlight and torches.
- Performing scientific experiments, for example, observing what happens to the shadows when a light source moves or changes the distance between the light source and an object.
- Exploring mirrors to learn how light behaves.
- Making a periscope (a device used to see things that are out of sight), create shadow puppets or explore and create rainbows with different lenses.