4 - Exploring Light in Star Wars
This lesson plan focuses on 4-PS4 and 4-LS1.
- Play the first 35 seconds of this clip from George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens
- Discuss. What do you see? What do you wonder?
- The big takeaway here is an introduction to rathtars and their gigantic eyes (first 35 seconds). Why do you think rathtars need such big eyes?
- It might also be interesting to talk about other anatomical adaptations, such as their wide mouths, many teeth, dark coloration, and many arms. What do you think these adaptations tell you about how they eat and where they live?
Optional Intro Activity - Kaleidoscopes
- Purpose: To observe the different wavelengths of visible light
- Materials and Procedure: The link below has the easiest and fastest way to make a kaleidoscope, though any DIY instructions will work for the activity. https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/homemade-kaleidoscope/ (the cardboard tube is not necessary. Rainbow peepholes are available in bulk on Amazon)
- Discuss. What do you see when you look through the kaleidoscope? What do you wonder?
- DEMO: Using a rope/string, have a student hold one end of the rope still while you cause waves to move through the string (move up and down)
- Waves (regular patterns of motion) can differ in amplitude (height of the wave) and wavelength (distance between wave peaks)
- One common type of wave is electromagnetic waves, which include: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays. The properties of these waves depend on the wavelength.
- Visible light is the small part within the electromagnetic spectrum that human eyes can detect.
- The color of visible light depends on its wavelength. These wavelengths range from 700 nm (1 nanometer = 1x10-9 meters) at the red end to 400 nm at the violet end.
- White light is actually made of all of the colors of the rainbow because it contains all wavelengths, and it is described as polychromatic light.
- Objects appear in different colors because they absorb some colors (wavelengths) and reflect other colors. The colors we see are the wavelengths that are reflected.
- The kaleidoscope lenses are made out of a material called diffraction grating, a special material that refracts light (bends and separates light into the colors of the spectrum).
- The colors of the visible light spectrum are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
Experiment - Rathtar (Cow) Eye Dissection
- Purpose: To observe how the structure of the eye helps it perform its function
Extension - Lightsaber Colors Quiz
- Play this clip from George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
- Discussion and Mini-Quiz!
- What wavelength of light is Master Windu’s purple lightsaber?
- What wavelength of light is Obi-Wan’s blue lightsaber?
- What wavelength of light is Anakin’s green lightsaber?
- What wavelength of light is Dooku’s red lightsaber?