Science is a subject that teaches
many principles required throughout your student's life. It helps
develop critical thinking skills that can be used in many situations.
Students should begin to learn that the world can be seen many different
ways and that there is often more than one explanation. There is
not always a correct answer in science because many times the answer changes
with new information. There can also be more than one answer depending
on the tools used to derive the answer.
Mathematics is more than just memorizing addition
or division. Math is a tool for humans to compare and contrast objects
quantitatively. Scientists require math as a tool to help them record
and compare their data. Math and science work together to help us
understand the world.
Optical illusions can dramatize why scientists
must measure and record their observations, repeatedly. Initial conclusions
can be proven inaccurate or incorrect when the situation is fully analyzed.
The verification of an initial conclusion should be part of how human beings
can use critical thinking as a way of living.
- Perception is how one sees
an object or event. Students may have heard "your eyes can
play tricks on you," but not understand what it means. In this lesson,
students should look at objects and make a judgement about that object.
They will find when they measure the object, the answer their eyes may
have seen was incorrect. There are 3 pictures: (1) hat, (2)
lines, and (3) circles. Ask students the following questions when
you show them the pictures.
- Hat: Is the hat wider or taller?
After the class answers (take a hand count), ask students if they can explain
how they made their decision. Hopefully one of the students will
suggest measuring the hat. Instruct several of the students to measure
the width and height. They will find out that they are the same.
Discuss reasons why this happened. This is an example of our eyes
"seeing" the tall hat and disregarding the width.
- Lines: Which of these lines
is longer - line AB or line CD? Take a hand count of students and
then measure each line. They will find out they are the same.
This is an optical illusion caused by the arrows guiding our eyes.
- Circles: Which center circle
is the largest? Again take a poll of the students, and then have
them measure the diameter of the circles in the center of each illusion.
They will measure the circles as the same size. Make sure that
the students know what a diameter is, and have them measure the diameters
of both circles to compare. Your eyes are comparing it to the larger
circle. The circle on sheet B looks larger because it is surrounded
by smaller circles.
- Sometimes what appears to be true
is not! Do not believe all you see. Sometimes you have to question
what you are really seeing as opposed to what you think you are seeing.
There are many books on optical illusions which you may want to consult.
You may want to check the following websites that have some illusions.