You see your reflection in windows, puddles, and mirrors all around you, but have you ever thought about the science behind those reflections and how the eye works?

“The Mirror’s Reflection” is this month’s theme as students study not only the science of light and reflection, but also take time to reflect on this past year in YouthQuest.

Grades K-2

Students will put their artistic skills to work as they trace their self-portrait using a mirror, draw an optical illusion drawing and create a jeweled mirror just in time for Mother’s Day.

They will also navigate a tightly turning course using only a mirror held above their head.

“Learning to compensate for the perspective and stay on course is fun and challenging,” said LaKeitha Givens, Program Director of YouthQuest. “The lesson on the human eye compares our vision to a camera and explains the reversal of images sent to the brain.”

For parents supporting the mirror theme at home, looking for reflections in common places – like water and shiny surfaces – can help students understand how people have been able to see themselves for thousands of years.

Grades 3-6

Students will learn about the science of light and light refraction by pouring water into a glass and watching how it changes the appearance.

“When light strikes an object, it is reflected, absorbed or it passes through,” Givens said. “When light strikes a highly reflective surface such as a mirror, it bounces off in a straight line at the same angle that it hit the mirror.”

At home, parents can use flashlights and explore how light travels. Another fun project is to have fun in the sun while checking out their shadows. Ask your student if the light is being reflecting, refracted or absorbed.

For Older Students

Rather than use themes, YouthQuest’s middle and high school programs offer short-term and long-term clubs to teach students new skills and encourage interest in new subjects. They also participate in a variety of activities and excursions that promote career and college readiness.

Last month, for instance, students at the International Academy of Flint visited Kettering University and the University of Michigan – Flint. While there, they met with advisors and learned about the schools’ offerings. To boost your student’s interest in college life, consider scheduling a tour at a local college or attend one of the many community events hosted by our local universities.

YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.

This article was featured in the May 2017 issue of Afterschool Download. Also in this issue:

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