Learning Intention: Students will understand the structure and function of the human eye and investigate how it works and some of it’s limitations.
Success criteria: Students will be able to draw and label a diagram of the eye and describe how it works. They will also be able to give a brief demonstration of an optical and visual phenomena.
This site, by Michael Bach, has not quite 100 different visual illusions for you to examine. The emphasis here is on relative novelty and interactivity, in combination with a scientific background. The National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety have a kids page with some very interesting examples of visual phenomena. There are some more you can try out at Optical Illusions 1,2,3.
Change blindness is a is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when a change in a visual stimulus goes unnoticed by the observer. Here are some examples of change blindness. There are some more examples, using the “mud splash” phenomena here.
The following activities are sourced from the CSIRO “Science by Email” archives. They are all about sight and perception. I would like you to work in pairs to read the instructions, set up the experiment or demonstration and then explain it to the class.
1. Blind spot
10. Pepper’s ghost (this one takes a bit longer to set up)
11. Make a mirage
12. Invisible coin