# Alabama Connections Academy Investigating Light Refraction Problems Discussion

Design your own experiment to support the hypothesis that light travels in straight lines except at the point it enters a new medium. You may use the “Bending Light” PhET Interactive Simulation in your experimental design or use all real materials (i.e., flashlight, index cards, glass, water, protractor). You must collect actual data in order to support your hypothesis. Therefore, plan how you will measure the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction to show that light bends when it enters a new medium. Assignment details as well as the grading rubric are attached. Please read carefully. This assignment is for an 8th grader.

Investigating Light Refraction Portfolio
Directions:
1. Design an experiment to support the hypothesis that light travels in straight lines
except at the point it enters a new medium.
2. Write experimental procedures using detailed, numbered steps. Do not use
paragraphs. Do not use personal pronouns such as you or I.
a. Incorrect: I will pour 10 mL of water into the graduated cylinder. I will
transfer the water to a separate container. I will shine the light of the
flashlight onto the surface of the water.
b. Correct:
1. Pour 10 mL of water into the graduated cylinder.
2. Transfer the water to a separate container.
3. Shine the light of the flashlight onto the surface of the
water.
3. To plan the experimental procedures, consider the following questions:
a. What materials are needed? (If using the PhET simulation, list which tools
and mediums will be used.)
b. What safety procedures should be followed? (If using the PhET
simulation, safety procedures are unnecessary.)
c. What observations should be made?
i. How will the angle of incidence and the angle of refraction be
measured?
d. What kind of data table is needed? (see example)
4. After writing the procedures and creating a data table, carry out the experiment.
5. Create a lab report with the following sections filled in. Submit a typed copy to the
teacher via drop box:
a. Experimental Question: How does a change in medium affect light?
b. Hypothesis:
c. Materials List:
d. Safety Procedures (if necessary):
e. Experimental Procedures:
f. Data Table:
g. Analysis and Conclusions: (Use the data to explain whether the data
supports the hypothesis. Discuss any circumstances that may have
affected the outcome. Answer the experimental question.)
Sample data table
Angle of Incidence in
Air (or Water or
Glass)
Angle of Refraction
Air
Water
Glass
Investigating Light Refraction Portfolio Rubric
Criteria
Required
Sections
Procedural
Quality
Writing
Quality
Data Table
Efficacy
4
All six sections are present:
1. Question
2. Hypothesis
3. Materials
4. Procedures
5. Data Table
6. Analysis/
Conclusions
The experimental procedure:
1. is logical,
2. is sufficient to test the
hypothesis,
the experimental
question,
4. shows creativity
Four criteria are well
executed:
1. correct spelling,
2. correct grammar,
3. correct sentence and
paragraph structure,
4. logical sequence and
flow
Two criteria are well
executed:
1. appropriate data
table setup, and
2. data recorded for at
least five angles of
incidence.
3
At least five
of the six
sections are
present.
2
At least four
of the six
sections are
present.
1
Score
At least two
of the six
sections are
present.
/4
One
procedural
quality
criterion is
missing or
poorly
executed.
Two
procedural
quality
criteria are
missing or
poorly
executed.
Three
procedural
quality
criteria are
missing or
poorly
executed.
One writing
quality
criterion is
missing or
poorly
executed.
Two writing
quality
criteria are
missing or
poorly
executed.
Three
writing
quality
criteria are
missing or
poorly
executed.
Appropriate
data table
set up and
data
recorded for
at least four
angles of
incidence.
Appropriate
data table
set up
and/or data
recorded for
at least
three angles
of incidence.
Appropriate
data table
set up
and/or data
recorded for
at least two
angles of
incidence.
/4
/4
/4
Criteria
4
Three criteria are well
executed:
1. Data is used to
support or reject the
hypothesis.
Analysis/
2.
Data is used to
Conclusions
experimental
question.
3. All explanations are
logical.
3
One
criterion is
missing or
poorly
executed.
2
Two criteria
are missing
or poorly
executed.
1
Three
criteria are
missing or
poorly
executed.
/4
Total Points
Score
/ 20

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