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Ms. Chang from Chicago IL is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Mystery of Light Refraction

My students need 60 acrylic prisms and 20 laser pointers to be able to observe and analyze the refraction and reflection of light through different media.

  • $524 goal

This project expired on July 19, 2014.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

In a typical day in my physics class, we discover how math can be used to describe and predict phenomena in the world around us. At our school, we value hands-on experiences, so we perform a lab about once a week to see physics at work. We learn to find beauty and fascination in everyday things.

My students are vibrant and enthusiastic individuals, mostly from the west side of Chicago.

Our school attracts a unique group of students, as students must apply to attend, but they do not necessarily need to achieve a minimum of test scores on the entrance test. As a result, the school's culture can be characterized as diverse and academically driven. About 80% of the student body qualifies for free or reduced lunch.

My Project

In our unit on light and its wave characteristics, students will have the opportunity to use acrylic blocks and laser pointers to closely observe how light bends through different materials. Shining a laser through an acrylic block will allow students to see the beam of light bend (refract) and bounce (reflect). In observing this, they can derive Snell's Law, which is a mathematical formula that can predict the way light behaves when it interacts at the surface of two media. This can be applied in numerous ways in real life, like in explaining why objects or people can appear distorted if they are partially submerged in water or how glasses correct eyesight.

Laboratory experiments are well known to be memorable and genuinely educational experiences in the science classroom.

In high school, science classes should open students' minds to the beauty of natural phenomena and perhaps even inspire students to pursue science-related careers in the future. After our lab experience, they can show off to their friends and families their knowledge of light refraction and reflection in real life.

Ms. Chang
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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6 donors6 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 120 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
United Scientific Acrylic Prisms in Wooden Storage Box (Set of 6) • Amazon $32.44 10 $324.40
KONG Laser Toy Cat Toy • Amazon $4.24 20 $84.80

Materials cost


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Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


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Total project goal


4 Donors


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Project Activity

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