Make a Pinhole Camera

With a little light and a lot of time, you can create some amazing images. This NASA-related task instructs pupils to build a pinhole camera. The lesson provides suggestions for different pictures to try with the pinhole camera and concludes with a set of discussion questions.

17 Views 10 Downloads NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • After building the pinhole camera, have the class research the way light behaves as it interacts with the pinhole and the file
  • Instruct leaners to research the history of both film and digital imaging 
Classroom Considerations

  • There is a safety concern while using the knife to cut the cardboard
  • If multiple cameras are going to be built, you will need several cereal boxes

  • An actual-size template is provided as a pattern to cut from the cereal box

  • The activity is not directly tied to a learning objective or a design project
  • Building a pinhole camera takes a long time to get it right