Reflection Investigation

Age Range: 7 - 11

Reflection Investigation

This investigation requires children to use mirrors accurately and think about light and reflection.

First, you will need the PDF resource below. Children should place a small item (e.g. a Lego character or a coin) in the centre of the semi-circle.

They should place two small mirrors on the lines marked with a '1'. Then, ask them to look in the mirrors and count how many times the small object is reflected and record this in the table.

Reflection Investigation Results Table

The children should then move the mirrors onto the lines marked with a '2' and count the number of reflections, recording this on the table. This process should be repeated until the two mirrors are on the lines marked with a '9'.

Can the children explain what is happening to the number of reflections as the angle of the mirrors is reduced? Can they explain why this happens? What is happening to the light? Could they make a graph to show their results?

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Abhay Maroo

The mirrors reflect the reflections of other mirrors within 180 degrees of the mirror’s face. When mirrors reflect, the reflected image will be backwards, but if you reflect something twice, it will look normal.Because light is traveling in a straight line to and from each mirror, the light will bounce a number of times back and forth between the mirrors before it travels from the object to your eye. The number of times the light bounces (and the number of objects that you see) will correlate to the number of times the angle divides into 360. As the mirrors get closer and closer to having zero angle between them, more and more images appear. At an angle of 0 degrees, or when the two mirrors are facing each other, there are an infinite number of reflections.

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