Laser Laws Reflection Post

In this project, my group & I ( Sylas, Decklan, & Julia ) learnt about 2 things which came together to teach us something bigger, the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection combining to teach us about Laser Laws.

We started off this project with Milestone 1, the “Project Start Mind Map”. As you can see we asked questions we had on the pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection, going throughout the project answering them.

The time in between Milestone 1 & 2 was spent reading on the law of reflection (which I will refer to as “LOR”) and learning the pythagorean theorem (which I will refer to as PT). Milestone 2 was a khan academy quiz where we demonstrate what we learnt so far via multiple choice.

Milestone 3 was the first milestone we got to test PT on our own. We had to create a question using the scientific method to prove or disprove PT. Our question was: does PT only work on right angle triangles? Here is some of our work using PT on different triangles.

Next is Milestone 4, & where LOR & PT start to connect. Individually we used a simulator to create our own right angle triangles with lasers, mirrors, and protractors. The reason we did this was too see if we could prove LOR & PT with 1 shape (using lasers and mirror reflections to create a right angle triangle).

Milestone 5 was my favourite, and I think most important milestone. This is the milestone where we got to measure out, and build our triangle with real lasers and mirrors. Using 1-2 lasers, 2-5 mirrors, and cardboard, we had to make a shape with at least 1 right angle triangle. Luckily Sylas created a 3D model of what we were going to make our box out of, so all we had to do was make it

To figure out what angle the mirrors had to be to create the right shape, we used the Milestone 3 simulator and created a right angle triangle, then measured the mirror angles there, then glued the mirrors on to the right angle. After putting the laser hole directly in front of the bottom mirror, we just had to line it up and we had a triangle.

However making the triangle isn’t the only part of the project. Using the measure app we measured from laser point to laser point getting the lengths of the lasers to truly make sure its a right angle triangle (it was).

The final part of creating the triangle is to see the lasers pathway. You can see a lasers pathway with dust particles, but how do we do that? According to Sylas the answer is a smoke machine. So thats what we did to show everyones lasers all at once. With the lights off, here is our laser:

In this project we had 3 core competencies to accomplish and learn to do, our 3 competencies were: To demonstrate a sustained intellectual understanding of the scientific topic, to represent mathematical ideas in concrete forms, and to co-operatively create projects.

I believe I was accomplished in having a sustained intellectual understanding, because I am very interested in this project & have learnt a lot, however my ability to understand what im reading is not very strong. For example, in the textbooks, I got almost no information by reading them, but doing the worksheets with my group and learning as I go along helped me understand this project.

I believe I was accomplished in representing mathematical ideas in concrete forms, I could do so very well, and understand the math as well as how to use it, but nothing extraordinary. It took time for me to understand how to use PT in worksheets but over the weeks, I learnt and am now able to solve PT.

I believe I was extending in being able to co-operatively create projects, I was always open to new ideas & understandings, while trying to input my own thoughts. Whenever someone didn’t understand what we were doing or trying to distract us, I intervened & explained what we were doing.

Now the driving question of the project: How can we test PT & LOR. I believe we can test it exactly like how my class did, this whole project was answering the driving question. Milestone 4 definitely exampled this best, in having us use our knowledge to create multiple triangles and test PT, and measuring the mirrors gave us a start on LOR.

Overall this project was really fun & taught me a lot of the LOR & PT. I hope to take away what I learned in the future so I can build my own lasers. I really liked learning about light physics the most & I hope we continue this in Grade 9.