Jim Allison: Breakthrough

Camera Obscura

Contributor: Exploratorium

Type Category: Instructional Materials

Types: Phenomenon

Note: This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Description

This video, sponsored by Exploratorium, features a giant camera obscura that uses natural light and a pinhole to capture continuous real-time images of San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. Operator Robert Tacchetto gives a tour of the facility and shows how this centuries-old technology creates enchanting images of the outside world for all to see. Viewing this short video could start the study of light waves for first graders.

Intended Audience
Educator and learner

Educational Level
Elementary School

Language
English

Access Restrictions
Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectation

1-PS4-2  Make observations to contruct an evidence-based account that objects in darkness can be seen only when illuminated.

Clarification Statement:

Examples of observations could include those made in a completely dark room, a pinhole box, and a video of a cave explorer with a flashlight. Illumination could be from an external light source or by an object giving off its own light.

Assessment Boundary:

none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation

The video would be a good introduction for students learning that objects in darkness can only be seen when illuminated.

Science and Engineering Practice

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice

This video is a good start to the study of light waves using the phenomenon of the camera obscura. The teacher would need to provide more opportunities to show this phenomenon.

Disciplinary Core Idea

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea

The video shows how the camera obscura operates and how objects are illuminated when the light comes through the hole on top. Again more opportunities for students to observe this phenomenon should be given.

Crosscutting Concept

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept

Just watching the video would not allow students to see observable patterns so investigations with tools such as a student designed pinhole camera should be done.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -
  • Instructional Supports: - none -
  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -
  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -