# Simple Light Refraction Experiment

Scared of science?  Don’t be.  Doing science with your kids can be the best part of their week.  And it’s not nearly as complicated as scientists and the writers of textbooks would like you to believe.  If the words light refraction intimidate you, read on…

Take, for example, optics.  Sounds scary, doesn’t it?  But it’s actually just learning about how light behaves, which is part of your normal day and in many ways something you understand intuitively.  Here’s a super simple light refraction experiment.

All you need is a bowl, with opaque (not see through) sides, a coin, and water.

1. place the coin in the bottom of the bowl.
2. Back up until you’re about two feet from the bowl, then bend your knees and squat down until the coin is just out of sight under the rim of the bowl.
3. Have a partner slowly pour water into the bowl until it’s full nearly to the rim.

The coin will have appeared in your line of sight as the water was poured in.  You can see it because when the light hits the water it slows down and slowing down makes it bend.