Curricular Unit: This Little Light of Mine: Exploring Light with Sensors and Bots

Contributed by: Kansas State University, Computing and Information Systems Department, National Science Foundation GK12 INSIGHT Program

Prepared for

*Grade: 6 (5-7)

Time Required

Please see individual lessons and activities. Generally, the unit spans about 1 week.


This light unit provides a series of lessons that introduce concepts of light in a hands-on, exploratory fashion.  We learn about reflection, refraction, and transmission, with spotlights, colored lights, prisms, and more.

*Engineering Connection

Engineers apply the science of light in many ways, in common and practical applications such as cameras, to fiber-optic cables that transmit information by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber, to studying light from distant galaxies to determine their speed and direction.

Engineering Category

1.      Relating science and/or math concepts to engineering

*Subject Area(s)


Science and Technology

Computer Science

*Keywords: light, reflection, refraction, absorption, robots, photo sensors, Kinect, Greenfoot, java.

Educational Standards

Shawnee School District Grade 6 (2010) from Kansas Science Standards -

*Related Lessons

*Related Activities

Unit Overview (Return to Contents)

Overview of topics: (1)

Unit Schedule

See individual lessons and activities.

Summary Assessment

To evaluate the effectiveness of this unit, a pre-test is available that can be administered prior to beginning any of the activities or lessons.  The same test can be taken as a post-test, after completion of the unit activities and lessons, and the results compared to assess the learning progress.


Pre-Unit Quiz

Pre-Unit Quiz with Answers

Post-Unit Quiz

Post-Unit Quiz with Answers


Redirect URL


Denise Case, Kansas State University, Lucas Shivers and Lindsey Burch, Bluejacket Flint Elementary.


© 2011 by Kansas State University.

Permission granted for free use and distribution, conditioned upon inclusion of the above attribution and copyright notice.  This digital library content was developed by the Insight Program under National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0948019. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

*Supporting Program

Kansas State University, Department of Computing and Information Sciences, National Science Foundation GK-12 INSIGHT Program

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