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In this activity (posted on March 20, 2011), learners follow the steps to construct a stroboscope, a device that exploits the persistence of vision to make moving objects appear slow or stationary. Learners use simple materials and a few tools to construct and assemble an eyepiece and holder, handle, and one-, two-, or four-slot shutter disks. Photographs of the process included in this resource will help learners as they build their stroboscopes. Learners can use their device to view moving things/people and explore the strobe effect and persistence of vision.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • 1.5 inch cardboard tube
  • foam core
  • black mat board
  • straw
  • chopstick (that will fit in the straw)
  • fine tooth saw
  • box cutter
  • hot glue gun
  • large scissors
  • compass, straight edge


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
      • Perception
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
    • Motion and Forces
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Rotation Motion
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Photography and Film/Video


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Oakland Discovery Center, ©2011


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