Monday, 11 November 2013
It’s finally time to pull out the optics benches! A few of my classes got started on a (thin) lens lab and everyone worked on their classwork. The objective of the lab is to identify the focal length of a mystery lens chosen by the lab group. Students will turn around with that focal length to predict the location of an image based on an object I choose.
The classwork set focused on a few key ideas — solving the lens equation for any of the variables, ray tracing to locate images, and image characteristics based on object placement relative to a lens. Before the classwork, I defined convex lens, converging lens, concave lens, and diverging lens. The kids also had a chance to play with a set of concave and convex desktop lenses from Arbor Scientific (side note: yowzers! I had no idea these things were that expensive).
My classes have hit their stride — kids have learned that every topic comes with some notes, a classwork problem set on paper, a homework problem set on Moodle, and most include a lab. We often work the assignments in that order, too.