Lesson 3
Part 2

Lighten Up: Designing Lighting Systems

Shedding Light on It (2) / Grade 3 / Fairfax, VT

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - Lighten Up: Designing Lighting Systems, L3.2

Students experiment with reflecting light using mirrors and learn about light intensity.

Reflection Questions

What does Sandy say that helps her students identify themselves as scientists and engineers?

During the lesson, Sandy refers to her students as optical engineers and expects them to behave like scientists when they are observing. 

  • Sandy tells the students that they are “going to be optical engineers” as they try to figure out how to light up the hieroglyphs. (2:32)
  • When discussing the importance of being honest in their observations, Sandy reminds the students that, “As scientists, we can’t report what we want to see, we have to report what we do see.” (6:00)

What do you notice about the way Sandy introduces the intensity meter tool to her students?

Sandy allows time for her students to freely explore the meter before she givens instructions. This makes her own demonstrations more meaningful and clear to the students. Later, she interprets the scale readings in terms of light intensity.

  • First, Sandy passes out the intensity meters with no explanation and tells groups to, “look them over for a minute.” (4:33)
  • Students ask themselves how the tool might be used and theorize about what the number scale might be. (4:42)
  • Finally, after every student is familiar with the meter, she demonstrates how she can use the meter to evaluate the intensity of the light hitting the hieroglyphs. (5:30)
  • Eventually, we see students using the meter appropriately and demonstrating that they truly understand how it is to be used. (6:42)
  • After students have tested and recorded their scores for each hieroglyph, Sandy helps them interpret the scores in terms of intensity of light. (7:28)