Elementary Science - Reflection and refraction

In this MEL Academy lesson your children will:

  • learn the nature of reflections and refraction
  • make the glass disappear with their own hands
  • assemble their own polarising screen

Lesson time

7:00am   PST (San Francisco, Seattle, ...)
8:00am   MST (Phoenix, Denver, ...)
9:00am   CST (Chicago, Houston, ...)
10:00am   EST (New York, Toronto, ...)
3:00pm   GMT (London, ...)

Lesson duration: 45-55 minutes.

Prepare in advance

In this lesson, we will conduct "Disappearing glass and broken pencil" DIY experiments. Prepare in advance household materials shown below.

DIY Materials

  2x straight-walled unpatterned glasses
  2x identical silver coins
  access to water
  white paper
 small rimless glass or bowl approx 100 - 150ml
  large rimless glass or bowl approx 500ml or big enough to hold the small glass/bowl
  1-2ltr of light-colored vegetable oil


Please, download and print this worksheet in advance. You’ll need to refer to it during the lesson.

MEL Experiment

If you are a subscriber of MEL Kids then you can conduct Crystal Screen experiment:

Crystal Scree

Please, assemble in advance.


This lesson is presented by Daniel Sullivan:

Daniel Sullivan

Daniel Sullivan is a hugely enthusiastic and experienced ex-head of science with over 20 years of teaching experience. He is now running a science teacher training company and is looking forward to engaging with students once again.