Camera Projector

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In this activity (posted on March 14, 2011), learners follow the steps to construct a camera projector to explore lenses and refraction. First, learners use relatively simple materials to construct the projector. Then, learners discover that lenses project images upside down and backwards. They explore this phenomenon by creating their own slides (must be drawn upside down and backwards to appear normally). Use this activity to also introduce learners to spherical aberration and chromatic aberration.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Lenses and Mirrors
      • Reflection and Refraction
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Photography and Film/Video


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Oakland Discovery Center, 2011