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Light and Optics: Make A Pinhole Projector to Study Optics

Study optics by building a simple pinhole projector. This is a great precursor to understanding lenses. Then, while you're still outside, go on a pinhole walk looking for natural pinholes--you'll see them everywhere once you know how to find them. 


Questions Answered:

What does a shaped pinhole show when it’s held near a screen? 

How can trees make perfectly round circles of light on the ground?


Topics Addressed:

Light coming from objects can be projected onto a screen. 

A pinhole will cast an image of whatever is behind it.


Materials Needed

Thin cardboard, Foil, Shaped punches, White screen


Preparation Time

Cut cardboard frames--kids can do this--they can be reused year to year


NOTE: This activity is part of the Light, Optics, & Color Unit found here.

Light and Optics: Make A Pinhole Projector to Study Optics


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


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