Many schools have been closed and kids have been home with their parents. However, the subjects of science and mirrors still remain! A mirror is more than furnishing for your home!
Many hospitals, scientist, labs, technicians, engineers, military, and more use mirrors every day to do their daily tasks!
So, we decided to do some research and found fun and informative experiments you can do at home with your kids that involve mirrors!
Mirrors and science go hand-in-hand! Scientist are always using mirrors, and we are excited to show you how to keep your kids (or yourself) entertained throughout this quarantined time.
Let’s get started!!!!!
Light Reflection Lesson
This lesson focuses on light, reflection, waves, and light refraction.
Materials – For this lesson you will need:
- Mirror (First Surface or Standard Mirror)
Give your child both a flashlight and a mirror. Have them shine the flashlight onto the mirror!
When the flashlight is shining on the mirror, have your child look for the reflection on the light and where it is placed. When they are doing this, have them notice the angle between the reflection of the light and the light coming from the flashlight.
To make this lesson even more advanced, you can try tracing the light using a mirror that has both reflection and transparency. For example, a two way mirror or a smart mirror.
Curved Surface Mirrors
The next activity that we have is about two different types mirrors called convex and concave mirrors.
What is a convex mirror? A convex mirror is where the reflection on the curved surface bulges out.
For example, the outside of a spoon is a convex mirror.
Convex mirrors are commonly used inside buildings so you can see around the corner, sunglasses, and any other curved surfaces that are used to magnify the objects. Like magnifying glasses.
- Writing Utensil
Try and find as many convex mirrors throughout your house as you can! Write down which object you found it on.
Once you have made a list of your household convex mirrors, look into one!
Get out a piece of paper, and draw your reflection in a convex mirror. Do you look larger or smaller?
A concave mirror is a mirror that curves inwards.
Concave mirrors make the object look smaller than reality. The concave mirrors reflect the light inward, which helps focus the light. They also turn the image upside down.
Examples of concave mirrors include: Makeup mirrors, headlights, telescopes, and even microscopes.
- Writing Utensil
Now that you have found convex mirrors through your house, look for the concave mirrors! Write down as many concave mirrors that you can find throughout the house, or anywhere you go!
Finally, once you have a list of the two mirrors you can draw an image of your reflection looking into a concave mirror. Then, you can compare and contrast it with the convex mirror image you drew earlier.
Discovering Different Types of Mirror-Like Objects
Actual mirrors are not the only type of mirror that shows your reflection!
How you ever looked into a body of water and saw yourself? Or glanced into a car window and saw your own reflection. It’s not as perfect as a mirror, but mirrors are not the only way you can view yourself!
- Writing Utensil
Look at all of your surroundings! Make a list of what you can see your reflection in!
Bonus: Write how your reflection is impacted. Does your face seem smaller? Larger? Are you upside down? Is the image warped? Etc.
After you find different types of mirrors and reflections throughout your surroundings, answer this question on your paper with the list:
“What did the mirror objects have in common?”
Mirrors can also create double images!
All you need to do is gather two mirrors!
- Writing Utensil
- Two standard or First Surface Mirrors
Take the two mirrors, and place the corners together at an angle.
Then, walk around the house with it for a few minutes, and see what you can do with it!!!!
You can try putting stuff between the mirrors, and counting how many reflections you see!
Once you have discovered what you can do with these mirrors, I want you to answer the following questions:
- What do you see when you put something between the mirrors?
- What happens if you change the angle of the mirrors?
- How many times is the object multiplied?
- Do you see more when the mirror is at a small angle, or a large angle?
- If you place the mirrors at an angle on a piece of paper, can you make a shape by simply drawing one line from one side of the mirror to another?
- What shapes can you make by doing this?
Mirrors combined at a smaller angle.
Mirrors combined at a larger angle.
If you put the mirrors at exactly a 90 degree angle, you will create a “true mirror”!
When you look into a true mirror, you actually see yourself how the world sees you!
For example, when you put words in front of a mirror, the mirror flips it and it is read backwards.
As you can see in the true mirror, the lettering shows up exactly how we would see it if we were looking straight at it instead of it being in a mirror.
The angle flips the image, and it shows you a genuine reflection of yourself. How everyone sees you!!!
You can also use a mirror to create a symmetrical pattern!
Mirrors provide a precise reflection! Thus, they create a perfect opportunity to create a symmetrical pattern.
- Paper with a half circle on it
- Paper with half of a Capital Letter “A”
- Paper with any other symmetrical objects
Place the mirror on the blank side of the half drawn object.
Then, there you have it!! The mirror shows the completed symmetrical shape.
Questions to answer:
- What happens if you move the mirror at different angles?
- What other objects could you make with the mirror that are symmetrical?
Those are some fun activities that you can do at home with your kids!!
For more mirror science activities, check out these links!