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Looking Beyond

Youth investigate technologies that use mirrors to change the way light travels in order to collect information from a distance.

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Youth Will Know
  • They can use mirrors to collect information from a distance by changing the way light travels. 
  • Investigate is an important step of the Engineering Design Process. 

Activity Downloads

Looking Beyond Educator Guide
pdf 484.8 KB
Looking Beyond Engineering Notebook (English)
pdf 922.79 KB
Looking Beyond Engineering Notebook (Spanish)
pdf 1.6 MB
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The Educator Guide has a script, materials list, and prep directions. Be sure to have it open and ready to help guide you through every activity. It will take about 15 minutes to prepare for this activity. 

  • Post the Engineering Design Process poster. 
  • Set up a sample obstacle course according to Obstacle Course Setup, Educator Guide p. 31. 
  • Create a Materials Table with the materials listed on Educator Guide p. 25. 
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Guiding Question

What is the best way to redirect light to gather data from a distance?

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Youth Will Do

  • Use multiple mirrors to see around obstacles.  
  • Create handheld periscopes. 
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Did You Know?

  • NASA engineers use this same technology to send signals to the back side of the Moon! 
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Quick Tips

  • Consider assigning roles for group members to keep everyone focused on the challenge. 
  • If youth are familiar with these concepts, consider setting up the periscopes and obstacle course as stations where they can move freely between activities. 


Periscope: a remote sensing technology that uses mirrors to change the path of light in order to see around an object 

Related Videos

How to Build a Periscope
Remote Sensing—Overview
Using Light to See Around Obstacles
How to Build a Periscope
Remote Sensing—Overview
Using Light to See Around Obstacles

Activity Timing

5 min
15 min
Investigating Mirrors
30 min.
10 min
60 min