This project was all about lasers. Actually it was about lasers and mirrors, which we used to learn about triangles and the law of reflection. We learned about the Pythagorean theorem, different types of triangles and how to measure them. For the law of reflection we designed experiments and tested theories to draw a conclusion.
At the beginning of the project we made a “mind map” with all our questions for the project and things we wanted to learn. This is what my “mind map” looks like:
Now, at the end of the project I can answer some of the question on my mind map.
1. What is the Pythagorean theorem?
The Pythagorean theorem is a mathematical equation that you use to figure out the sides of a right angle triangle (a triangle with 1 right angle).
2. Are there types of light we cant see?
Yes, there are many light forms (colours) that we can’t see, like ultraviolet.
3. What is the speed of light?
The speed of light in a vacuum is 186,282 miles per second (299,792 kilometers per second).
The goal of this project was to answer the driving question, which was “How can we test the Pythagorean theorem and the law of reflection”. When I first heard the question I had no idea what the “Pythagorean theorem” was, or for that matter what the law of reflection was.
At the conclusion of the project, we reflected on the lessons we learned, demonstrated what we learned and how we got there, and more specifically, demonstrated what we learned on each of the curricular competency skills.
Questioning and predicting
I demonstrated this skill by showing an interest in the concepts and topics, being curious and asking questions about the things we where working on. Something I was really interested in was the way light (in some ways) is like a wave.
Communicating and representing
I used these skills by working with my group to make a triangle in a box. We used a cardboard box, a laser, some mirrors and a smoke machine to make a laser display in the form of a triangle. By measuring the triangle we showed a visual representation of the Pythagorean theorem. Here is a picture of our laser box:
Applying and innovating
I applied these skills by working with my group to complete our final project, which is the laser box to test the Pythagorean theorem. Our laser box supported the theorem. We measured the angles of our triangle; the angle of incidence equaled the angle of reflection, which supports the Pythagorean theorem, so we were happy with the result of the experiment.
I helped measure the angles and was in charge of the laser placement.
I enjoyed this project because it involved lasers and, in our case, a smoke machine.
Thanks for reading.