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Size and Distance


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    The Exploratorium

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Size and Distance

In this activity about depth perception, learners create an optical illusion in a shoe box. By looking through the viewing hole, learners explore how they can trick their brain into thinking that two similar objects of different sizes are really the same size. The trick is in the special construction of the box, and because their depth perception is impaired when they close one eye.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • A shoe box with lid
  • 2 Straws
  • 2 Coins of different sizes (for instance, 1 quarter and 1 dime)
  • Modeling clay or Fun Takā„¢ reusable adhesive
  • Construction paper that contrasts with the inside of the shoe box
  • A piece of posterboard or similar-weight cardboard, a little larger than the end of the box
  • A knife or scissors
  • Adult help

Subjects


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

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, The Exploratorium,

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation
  • California Department of Education
  • NEC Foundation of America

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