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Thaumatrope


Source Institutions

    WGBH

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Thaumatrope

In this activity, learners make an optical illusion toy from the 1800s to explore persistence of vision. When you spin the Thaumatrope, the pictures move so quickly that your eyes and brain can't see them separately and your brain blends the two pictures into one.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Type:
Activity

Language:
English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)


  • 3 in. x 5 in. white, unlined index card
  • markers
  • plastic straw
  • clear tape

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

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2002

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0229796
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • PBS
  • The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

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