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Depth Perception

Source Institutions

    University of Washington

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Depth Perception

In this easy demonstration (3rd on the page), learners explore depth perception by conducting a test with two pencils. Learners hold the ends of two pencils, one in each hand at arm's-length from their body. With one eye closed, they try to touch the points of the pencils together. They will discover this task is much easier to complete with two eyes open. This experiment can also be done with fingers, but pencils make the effect a bit more dramatic.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per student)

  • Two pencils (or fingers)


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
      • Perception
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Chudler, Ph.D., Eric H.


  • All Rights Reserved, Eric H. Chudler, ©2009


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