Bring it into Focus

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In this activity (page 2 of PDF), learners play with a lens and a piece of paper to focus an image on the paper. Learners look at different things, and see how the lenses affect the image. The "Going Further" section includes some background info about how this lens is similar to how a camera lens works, and how our eye works. The fact that the image is upside down is compensated in our eye by our brain! [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per student)

  • White paper
  • Magnifying glass
  • Sunny weather


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
    • Light and Optics
      • Lenses and Mirrors

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Photography and Film/Video


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, ESI-0206403