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Science lesson help

Discussion in 'NQTs and new teachers' started by rial7263, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Normal window pane glass is fairly straight and does not change the angle of the rays after they pass through the glass. The light may change direction when it enters the glass, but it will change back to the original angle when it exits the other side. Therefore, no effect to the light that you see coming through it.

    Your glass on the other hand is convex and concave in nature, with the distinct requirement that light will be affected as it travels through. Since the light changes, even if just a little bit, the area behind the glass will have a different level of illumination than beside it. We will see that as a shadow.
  2. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    Congratulations, you have just delivered an excellent lesson in the process of science.
    You gave them a hypothesis, they tested it and you must now modify your hypothesis as a result of the experimental results.
    That's how science works. It's why science isn't the same thing as "belief" and why "theories" aren't the same as "guesses".
    Your hypothesis that glass would not produce a shadow has been shown to be experimentally incorrect. The next part in the process would be to design new experiments to see if you can find why glass didn't do as you expected and to find out if there were flaws in your original experimental design. Do "edges" have an effect? (You'd need a bigger bit of glass to test that with so that you're well away from the edges). Perhaps the glass wasn't clean? Perhaps there are different kinds of glass that will give more or less of a shadow?
    It's really up to you now what you do with this. You could suggest the above as a set of questions that arise from the results. You could ask them for more questions (one possibility is that your entire notion of what a shadow is is wrong - the other results you have suggest that it isn't), you could ask them to design experiments that would test those questions. You could even spend the rest of year 3 carrying them out and maybe getting as far as discovering refraction and Young's slits results.
    Or not..

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