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In this activity, students aim spears at a model of a fish in a container of water. When they move their spears towards the fish, they miss! This activity investigates refraction.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • describe how the fish appears to be closer to the surface of the water than it is
  • draw a diagram to show how the light coming from the fish bends (refracts) as it moves from water into air
  • explain that this bending of light makes the fish appear to be in a different place than it actually is
  • discuss the correct place to aim if you want to hit the fish
  • recall the meaning of the term refraction.

Download the Word file (see link below) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • extension ideas
  • student instructions.


    Published 5 April 2012 Referencing Hub articles