Reflecting on Diffraction

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
With a laser pointer and some household items, learners can create their own laser light show. They can explore diffuse reflection, refraction and diffraction. The webpage includes a video which shows how to set up the activity and also includes scientific explanation. Because this activity involves lasers, it requires adult supervision.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Laser pointer
  • Transparent objects (ex. jars, blender containers, plastic cups, cellophane wrap, water-filled bottles, etc.)
  • Semi-reflective surfaces (ex. CDs, DVDs, etc.)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Lasers
      • Reflection and Refraction


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



Related Video