Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Optical Science & Art

Optical Science & Art

Spring 2010 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Thames & Kosmos
Price: $34.95
Optical Science & Art is an engaging optics science experiment kit that focuses on the connection between science and art. It comprises 42 experiments and activities that explain what light is, how we see it, and how our eyes can be tricked.

The idea of connecting science and art through optics is unique. The paintings of old masters are compared to modern pixelated televisions, and op art to modern autostereogram images. In some cases the connection is derived, but the science really does explain the effects of art and why we see what we see.

Activities include making a pair of prismatic glasses, building a camera obscura, assembling a flip book, and demonstrating many optical illusions. The outstanding 48-page experiment manual includes excellent directions, illustrations, and photographs for each of the fun activities. Also included are lots of facts and real life applications of all the presented topics and related phenomena.

Most activities are quick and fun so it's easy to get kids to pay attention. If they pay attention, they learn. And there is a lot to learn here. Procedures for each activity are followed by a description of observations and an explanation of the results.

Ellie and Don Homce   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Don and Ellie Homce are the parents of two sons. Ellie is a former chemistry and physical science teacher and trainer in the hazardous materials field. Currently a professional volunteer at local schools and a thrift shop, Ellie continues to pursue her interests in art. Don is a health and safety and environmental science professional who enjoys building and fixing things. He has been a Boy Scout Leader for the past ten years.

Look for this product at:
Thames & Kosmos
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