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In this activity, learners construct a device that allows them to view 2-D images in 3-D. These 2-D stereoscopic images are simply pictures of the same thing, taken from two positions some distance apart. A stereoscope fools the brain into “seeing” a 3-dimensional image, by using two 2-dimensional images that are slightly different. The brain takes the 2D images provided by each eye, and blends them to make one image with depth – a 3D image. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • 2 80-mm focal length plano-convex lenses
  • dark cardboard or foam core
  • stereoscope images
  • pencil
  • string
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • hot glue gun
  • utility knife
  • tape


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
      • Perception
  • Mathematics
    • Geometry
      • Plane Geometry
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Lenses and Mirrors
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Photography and Film/Video
  • Toys


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


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Oakland Discovery Centers


  • All rights reserved, Oakland Discovery Centers, 2011

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