Recommended for grades 5 and 6
The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) developed at DLR has been recording the planet Mars since 2003, in colour and 3D, no less. Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
A diverse program selected from the fields of biology, optics and technology has been developed especially for young students. Emerging young scientists can discover what is necessary for seeing, how human eyes and digital cameras are constructed, and the functions of the various components. In small groups at experiment stations they learn about the path of a light beam and how images take shape. The optical properties of various materials are investigated and phenomena like reflection and refraction are encountered. And, of course, the subject of 3D is not neglected.
Eye structure: Using a model the various anatomical parts of the human eye are identified and their function is discussed.
Image generation and the path of a light beam: How an image arises in the eye and is perceived on the retina is investigated in simple optical experiments.
Reflection and refraction: These experiments illustrate optical properties like the reflective capabilities of various surfaces and the diffraction effect of lenses.
Optical phenomena: Numerous visual phenomena reveal that our eyes and brain can be easily deceived.
Stereo images:Students learn the fundamentals of three-dimensional vision. They find out what stereo images are and how spatial depth is produced in images of Mars. And before they are finished they can produce their own 3D photos with an ordinary digital camera.
The day’s programme:
What do eyes and cameras have in common, and how do they differ? Students at DLR_School_Lab Berlin figure out the right answers. Credit: DLR/Gossmann
The “Seeing with Eyes and Cameras” module includes an introduction to the German Aerospace Center and its fields of research appropriate to the age level of the students. This is followed by a presentation of the anatomical structure of the human eye and two experiment periods. After all students have completed the activities at all stations we ask them for feedback about their visit.
||Welcome and introduction
||Introduction to the anatomy of the human eye
||1st experiment period
||2nd experiment period
||End of visit
Preparation and follow-up:
The fascination of research! Elementary school students can also experience it at DLR_School_Lab Berlin. Credit: DLR/Gossmann
It is not necessary to prepare for the visit by covering the topic in the classroom beforehand. The DLR_School_Lab staff will introduce the students to the subjects in a way suitable to their age level. You might just encourage your class to look forward to a fascinating day of experiments in which they will be able to do many things on their own and gain an authentic impression of research at DLR.
To follow-up on what they learned at DLR_School_Lab Berlin some material is available here in German.