A laser light show! When I taught grade 4, one of my favourite units to teach in science was light. My favourite memory of this science class was my introduction to our light unit. Since it was my favourite, I decided to try it with my kindergarten classes. I often try to use STEM activities as a hook to get the kids interested in science and upcoming units of study.
With kindergarten, I gave each student a glow stick and asked them to hold it without cracking it. Their curiosity grew as we walked down to our the room. When we got to a dark room in the school, they cracked them together and lit up the room!
I then showed them how light travels in a straight line using a laser pointer and a spray bottle. (We talked about safety measures when using a laser pointer first! Be careful!) We turned on the pointer and then sprayed across the beam. It’s so amazing for the kids to see the beam of light. I then shone the laser pointer into a mirror sprayed. We can see the beam reflecting off of the mirror in straight lines. If you want to get more complicated, a few mirrors could be used. I then briefly talked to them about transparent, translucent and opaque objects. I shone the light through each of the rectangular cut outs (one was plastic wrap, wax papet and tin foil) to show each material.
(Note: chalk brushes full of chalk dust work best instead of the spray bottle, however, I didn’t have any available to me. I avoid having kids hold the laser points, please use caution with the pointers and avoid shining in eyes.)