American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture

Optics and Mirrors: Challenging Learners' Illusions

by: Thomas O'Brien

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Science depends on empirical evidence, logical argument, and skeptical review. Optical illusions challenge us to consider if our eyes sometimes play tricks on us. In this activity, coins dropped into a magic bank appear to shrink in size and fall through a narrow funnel into a tiny chamber or disappear altogether (depending on which type of magic bank is used). Beyond providing an insight into the nature of science, this activity serves as a visual participatory analogy to challenge the validity of the “banking” model of teaching and learning.


Type Book ChapterPub Date 3/1/2010Stock # PB271X_25

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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