Enrichment Week 2018 / Science

The Solar System

One of our year 8 Enrichment week groups was focusing on the solar system. Here Lucas writes about his project.

As a class we investigated light and the way it refracts. Using a semi-circular block to refract the light from a ray box we conducted our experiment by marking and recording where the light is refracted to. The results of this testing showed us how light can be refracted leading us to the investigation of refracting telescopes and the way they work. We then experimented uses lenses, rounded glass that is utilised in refraction telescopes as it focuses the light rays creating a focal point that can be easily viewed through an eye lens. Now having an understanding of lenses and refraction telescopes we set out to build our own miniature telescopes.

After building these we realised a vital flaw with the use of only lenses, a phenomenoncalled chromatic aberration. This means that rays of light with different wavelengths and energy have different focal points making a picture blurry through a refraction telescope because the focal point isn’t where your eye is and without the ability to adjust what you’re looking at (usually into deep space) this can’t be fixed. We then investigated the solution: The Newtonian Reflector Telescope. This type of telescope utilises mirrors instead of lenses which instead of refracting the rays of light reflects them therefore meaning the focal point is not changed leaving the picture crisp and clear.

We then investigated a larger more complex telescope built by a technician which was a reflector and we easily saw the difference in clarity straight away. We then organised into smaller groups and all investigated chosen topics presenting them in two posters full of colour and info. After this as a class we all investigated our own interests presenting them to the class through different media than just a PowerPoint or poster for example Safwhan and Mustafid were so passionate about the Apollo 11 mission that they choreographed an expressive dance all about it!

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