Day 63: Pinhole Papers

Wednesday, 13 October 2013

A short research paper on the physics of pinhole cameras was due today in 7th period.

As part of light & optics, I have my students build pinhole cameras. The photography teacher is kind enough to share her darkroom with my kids so they can develop the pictures they take. Before we build, however, I ask the kids to learn about the pinhole cameras by researching and writing a short paper. Above are some examples of the sketch of a pinhole camera and parts of several papers.

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3 thoughts on “Day 63: Pinhole Papers

  1. I like how you are always having your students write about their projects. Did you see Frank’s latest post on Quizzes vs Projects? I wonder if having them write more is a good way to get them to think about some of the conceptual challenges here, like what would happen to the image if you increased the size of the pinhole, or covered half of the pinhole?

  2. I did see that post! I’m not sure if Frank realizes just how much he’s mentored me in my physics teaching development.

    Frank said, “Perhaps the answer is just “all things in moderation.” Or perhaps the project parameters need improvement so students aren’t simply reciting Wikipedia definitions from a Powerpoint? Or something else?”

    To which I say, “YES!” I need to tweak this year’s project but I can see how it would be done.

    We’re struggling now with questions from kids like “what’s the equation for a pinhole camera?” As a research project, I’m loathe to provide them with any calculations, especially when they’re so readily available online. But that very issue has me wondering — why doesn’t the project use the equations/concepts we learned and practiced in class?

    The other physics teachers and I have started talking about how to respect this plea from kids while still keeping the project research-based. One area we know we need to grow is in more closely aligning the project to what we actually teach. For example, I want to have kids calculate magnification or predict image size, or something related to lenses as we learned it — maybe even asking how it’s even possible to magnify/reduce an image without a lens in their cameras (magic!).

  3. Pingback: Neglect and 180 Blogging | Megan Hayes-Golding

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