This investigation asks students to respond to a science-based question: “How tall does a full-length mirror need to be in order for you to see your full reflection?” The answer would seem to depend on how close you stand to the mirror. However, an investigation will show that this is not the case. By taking a few simple measurements and constructing a scale drawing, the students will see how the light from their feet and the top of their head bounces off the same spot on the mirror regardless of how far away they stand.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- draw a scale diagram showing light rays from their head and feet bouncing off the mirror and going into their eyes
- conduct a simple experiment to solve a real-world problem.
Download the Word file (see link below) for:
- background information for teachers
- investigation instructions
- extension ideas.
For a more detailed look at reflection, check out Investigating mirrors and reflection.