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What is Light?

Source Institutions

    Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence

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What is Light?

In this four-part activity, learners will discover the exciting world of light--the most important form of energy in our world--and be able to identify and describe different types of light. Learners examine incandescence and luminescence, fluorescence and phosphorescence, chemiluminescence, and bioluminescence. These light phenomena can be applied to the study of oceans.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Chemical Reactions
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
      • Vibration and Waves
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties
      • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • COSEE Florida


  • All Rights Reserved, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, ©2012

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0827983
  • National Science Foundation, 0828142
  • National Science Foundation, 0827953
  • NOAA National Sea Grant
  • Office of Naval Research
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


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