Conic Investigation

Your learners will see the light as they calculate and measure the focus of the elliptical shape of the bowl of a flashlight. They then compare the theoretical and actual focus lengths and their relation to the description of the beam of light. Finally, our bright observers complete their data collection and look for patterns and conclusions about focusing a beam of light.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Collaborative groups of two would work well for this investigation
  • Build in time to have a class discussion about their findings and conclusions
Classroom Considerations
  • Have flashlights present for this activity 
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Nice inquiry lesson centered on students experimenting and collecting data 
  • No solutions available
Common Core