Monday, May 8, 2017

Photon Phun

Question:
 Do I need to teach my students calculations? Ray tracing?

Answer:
Hello. 

There are no calculations on the quiz.

There are no ray tracing diagrams on the quiz that would ask you to trace light beams through a lens.  The only ray-type diagram is the reflection diagram for 4th and 5th graders during the written portion of the event. 

In the event description there is an example reflection diagram and it is described as follows:  "A light beam is shown to be emerging from a source along a particular direction. The competitor will be asked to predict which mirrors a beam of light will hit along a reflection path from the light source to a target. There will be mirrors on the reflection sheet that will not be hit by the light beam. The answer to the reflection sheet is the identifying letter of the mirrors that the light beam hits, in order, on its way from the source to the target."  Obviously to solve the reflection diagram the students need to know that the angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection and they will be given rulers and protractors to help them along. 

Although students will not be asked to draw ray diagrams for lenses they should understand conceptually about convex and concave lenses and mirrors and about focal length and focusing/unfocusing light using lenses.