Thursday, May 7, 2009

Make a Camera Obscura

This science project was very enjoyable and easy to do! A camera obscura (Latin for "dark room") used to be an aid in tracing or sketching. This particular camera obscura is simply to look through. Inside, you can see an image in miniature and up-side down. It is fascinating!

First take a cereal box, and cut a place for your head from the top. Cut a slot in the bottom to accommodate your nose:

Now at the bottom of the box, cut a flap open as shown, and tape in a strip of wax paper, about two inches from the end, as shown. 

 Now close the flap and tape it shut, and to keep any light out, cover the whole flap with foil, or cover it in paper. You may have to take extra steps to keep the light out. 

At the very bottom end of the box (the wax-papered end), take a straight pin and poke it through the end of the box, through all layers of cardboard. Make sure you make the hole in the very middle.

Now look towards a bright area, such as a window, or go outside and look at a tree. Make sure that no light is coming in around your eyes. If it is a very sunny day outside, you should be able to see the green of the trees and the blue of the sky, in miniature, upside down, on the wax paper!
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