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Design an optical illusion! Discover a scientific principle called the Moiré Effect. Trick your eyes and brain with lines.
Invite students to fool their brains into thinking they’re seeing an oscillating pattern. By superimposing one grid of lines over another pattern of lines, one can create an optical puzzle. The scientific principle behind this optical manipulation is called the Moiré Effect. Challenge student groups to investigate this principle. Provide groups with a variety of text and electronic resources for this research.
When research is complete, groups organize a presentation for classmates in a format of the team's choosing. To accompany the presentation, teams will create an optical illusion. Suggestions follow.
On white posterboard, mark two 8-inch long (20.32 cm) strips, one 2 inches (5.08 cm) wide and the other 4 1/2 inches (11.43 cm) wide using a Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencil. Cut out the strips with Crayola Scissors.
Slotted sleeve: Mark the edges of the wider piece at 2 inches (A) on one long side and 1/2 inch (1.27 cm) (B) on the other. Fold the edges toward each other. The narrower edge folds over the wider edge to make a sleeve.
Using a straight edge, starting from the (A) edge, draw narrow, even slits. Draw the slits from within one-half inch of the fold to the edge of the paper. Leave an inch of uncut paper on either end of the sleeve. Cut out every other slit, so you have what looks like a stiff grille or fringe. Erase any pencil marks that were not cut away.
With a Crayola Glue Stick, carefully glue the (B) edge over the (A) edge to hold the fringe in place. The 2-inch strip will slide through this sleeve. Air-dry the sleeve.
Parallel-line pattern strip: Using Crayola Fine Tip Markers and a straight edge, draw a pattern of parallel lines on the 2-inch strip of paper. For added interest, draw a line down the center of the strip and have the lines radiate out. Create a different pattern on the other side of the strip.
Carefully insert the decorated strip into the sleeve. Slowly move the design inside it. Watch the patterns appear to move and distort. Flip over the decorated strip to see your second Optical Delusion.
Student groups present their new learning focused on the Moiré Effect. Encourage students to integrate their original optical illusions into the presentations.
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