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Slide Projector Activities

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    The Exploratorium

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Slide Projector Activities

This resource contains several mini-explorations using a slide projector as a light source to investigate light and the properties of images. These activities can be used as a class demonstration or as learning stations. This guide also includes information about the "anatomy" of slide projectors and how they work. Learners and educators are encouraged to "tinker" with the equipment to find the best conditions and methods. Note: the cost of the projector is not included in the total cost of materials.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Slide projector with removable lens
  • 35mm slide of recognizable object
  • Large sheet of white poster board (at least 23 in. by 29 in.) for a screen
  • A few sheets of heavy card stock (like index cards, NOT cardboard)
  • Thumbtack or pushpin


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Lenses and Mirrors
      • Reflection and Refraction
    • Vibration and Waves
      • 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


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Miller, Bob


  • All Rights Reserved, Exploratorium,


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