Light

Science Year 6 Crime Lab Investigation

A crime has been committed and the UK Crime Lab needs a team to analyse its evidence against six suspects. They need a team with mathematical prowess and a scientific line of attack. Could you be the team to tackle the mystery of the West Hollow High School laptop thief?

Session 1 Light specialists required

Objectives

Take part in a Crime Lab light expert selection challenge. Do you have what it takes to join the investigation? Take a look at the initial crime report and cast your eye over the key suspects.

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines.

ii) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.

iii) Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.

iv) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, tables, bar and line graphs.
  4. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Crime Lab case files
  • Light challenges

Additional resources

  • BBC quiz recording sheet

Weblinks
Light quiz from bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Plan and complete a series of light investigations, identifying variables and ensuring fair testing.
  • Suggest patterns and connections based on observations and measurements.
  • Draw conclusions and provide answers based on scientific enquiry.

Activities

  1. Plan and carry out 5 light investigations in response to given enquiry questions.
  2. Identify variables that need to be controlled in order to achieve a fair test.
  3. Record and present findings, identifying patterns and drawing conclusions.

Investigation - planning, fair testing, exploring
Investigate a range of simple light challenges.

Vocabulary
Light, light source, names of light sources, dark, reflect, reflective, mirror, shadow, block, absorb, direct/ direction, transparent, opaque, translucent, straight, rainbow, colours

Session 2 Light travels in straight lines

Objectives

The thief was spotted on CCTV ‘casing’ the school, using a torch. Can you demonstrate that light travels in straight lines and calculate plausible heights of the suspect based on their torch beam?

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines.

ii) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.

iii) Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  3. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths

  • Recognise angles where they meet at a point or are on a straight line.
  • Convert between standard units of measure.

Teaching and Activities

Key Teaching

  • Demonstrate that light travels in straight lines
  • Understand why a light source is needed to see
  • Suggest viable angles based on sight
  • Convert feet and inches to cm


Key Activities

  1. Demonstrate and conclude that light travels in a straight line
  2. Know that a light source is needed in order to see
  3. Convert feet and inches to cm
  4. Make viable suggestions for given angles


Key Investigation

Investigate and demonstrate that light travels in straight lines (exploring)

Key Vocabulary

Light, light source, dark/darkness, reflect, reflective, direct/ direction, straight

Session 3 Up periscope

Objectives

We know that the thief could see round corners, and likely used a periscope. All suspects have one, but are they using materials that reflect well enough to see? Can you investigate and eliminate another suspect?

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that light appears to travel in straight lines.

ii) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.

iii) Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  5. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Teaching and Activities

Key Teaching

  • Describe the movement of light beams off of reflective surfaces.
  • Plan and carry out an investigation into the reflectiveness of given materials.
  • Record results in the form of a graph and note patterns.
  • Suggest how to investigate further their findings.

Key Activities

  1. Demonstrate and describe the movement of light off mirrors.
  2. Plan and carry out an investigation into the reflectiveness of given materials.
  3. Record results in graphic form and identify patterns.
  4. Suggest further investigations for their findings.

Key Investigation - exploring, problemsolving
Investigate how light reflects (make a periscope).

Key Vocabulary
Light, light source, names of light sources, e.g. torch, dark/darkness, reflect, reflective, mirror, shadow, block, absorb, direct/ direction, transparent, opaque, translucent, straight, rainbow

Session 4 Shadow giants

Objectives

Many witnesses saw the thief in shadow form, but none of the sightings add up to the same person - each shadow was a different size! Explore how shadows can be deceptive and recreate each sighting to help identify the possible height of our thief.

Science Objectives
i) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain why shadows have the same shape as the objects that cast them.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Data for investigation
  • Shadow outlines
  • Sample line graphs

Additional resources

  • Lolly sticks
  • Torches
  • Mirrors
  • Sticks and tape

Teaching and Activities

Key Teaching

  • Note and explain that a shadow has the same shape as the thing or person casting it.
  • Plan and carry out an investigation into shadow size and position of a light source.
  • Use data from their investigation to draw a line graph.

Key Activities

  1. Be able to explain that a human shadow has the same shape as the person casting it.
  2. Independently plan and carry out an investigation into shadow size and position of a light source.
  3. Draw a line graph from investigation data and note any patterns.

Key Investigation - fair testing, exploring, pattern seeking
Investigate shadows and how they change as a result of light sources.

Key Vocabulary
Light, light source, reflect, reflective, mirror, shadow, block, direction, transparent, opaque, translucent, straight

Session 5 It's a rainbow world

Objectives

How did our criminal read the encrypted laptop password that is too high up on the wall to see with the naked eye? And how did they decode it? Have a go at splitting white light into rainbow colours to help you crash through the password code.

Science Objectives
i) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.

ii) Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Encrypted code and password reminder
  • Investigations and homework resource

Additional resources

  • Magnifying glasses of different strengths (ensure one of them is x2 and the others greater than x4)
  • Prisms
  • Mirrors
  • Bubbles
  • Clear plastic tops

Weblinks
Information about rainbows from bbc.co.uk

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Plan and carry out an investigation into the strength of various magnifying lenses.
  • Understand that light can be bent when it is slowed down.
  • Recognise that white light can be split into 7 rainbow colours.

Activities

  1. Investigate magnifying lenses, suggesting which cannot magnify enough in given circumstances.
  2. Explain and demonstrate that light can be bent when it is slowed down.
  3. Split white light into rainbow colours.

Investigation - exploring
Explore split light (finding ‘rainbows’).

Vocabulary
Light, light source, refraction, mirror, magnifying glass, absorb, direct/ direction, transparent, opaque, translucent, straight, bend, rainbow

Session 6 A trick of the colourful light filters

Objectives

Our thief was spotted wearing not only a blue outfit, but also a red one and a yellow one. How is this possible and does it have something to do with the coloured transparencies found in the bin? Can you gather all of your evidence together to identify our key suspect?

Science Objectives
i) Use the idea that light travels in straight lines to explain that objects are seen because they give out or reflect light into the eye.
ii) Explain that we see things because light travels from light sources to our eyes or from light sources to objects and then to our eyes.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, classification keys, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Explanations: Report and present findings from your light enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in written report.
Journalistic writing: Write up the crime enquiry and final court proceedings, as if for a local newsletter.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Plan and carry out an investigation into light colour mixing.
  • Note the effects of mixing light colours.
  • Record and report findings in chart form.
  • Suggest and carry out further investigations on the effects of coloured light on coloured materials.

Activities

  1. Plan and carry out a light colour mixing investigation.
  2. Mix light colours.
  3. Present findings in a chart.
  4. Plan a further investigation into the effect of coloured light on coloured materials.

Investigation - exploring, problem solving
Investigate coloured light mixing.

Vocabulary
Light, light source, reflect, reflective, absorb, direct/ direction, transparent, opaque, translucent, straight