Elementary Science - Principles - Optics

In this MEL Academy lesson your children will:

-learn about light and optics -bend light with sugar -make you own periscope

Lesson time

8:00am   PST (San Francisco, Seattle, ...)
9:00am   MST (Phoenix, Denver, ...)
10:00am   CST (Chicago, Houston, ...)
11:00am   EST (New York, Toronto, ...)
4:00pm   GMT (London, ...)

Lesson duration: 45-55 minutes.

Prepare in advance

In this lesson, we will conduct several DIY experiments. Prepare in advance household materials shown below.

DIY Materials

  laser pointer
  Piece of stiff card (A4 or larger) or empty cereal box
  2 x mirrors 2” x 2” (5cm x5 cm) Approx.
  masking tape
  2-3 small mirrors
  access to water
  big glass bowl or an empty fish tank
  access to dark room
  periscope (printed from template)
  protractor (printed from template)


Please, download, print and cut out this paper periscope paper model in advance.

Please, download, print and cut out this paper protractor paper model in advance.


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


This lesson is presented by Mark Maclaine:

Mark Maclaine

Mark has been an educator for 20 years and has taught more than 20,000 hours of one-on-one lessons to over 1200 students. He initially struggled in school as the academic study didn’t come naturally to him. What was a weakness has become one of his greatest strengths - finding he is able to connect with students who are themselves struggling. Using a set of skills developed over the past two decades and his RELATE Teaching Method, Mark has become one of the best-known educators in the world. He is passionate about his work and is committed to transforming the education system so it works for everyone.