With the recent realignment of the Connecticut State Department of Education Core Science Curriculum Framework, light and vision were added to the science curriculum for 5th grade students and they will be tested on these concepts on the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT) starting in 2008. In order to ready students for the test, our collaboration began with the development of a standards-based workshop to introduce optics concepts to fifth grade students in eastern Connecticut. After a successful initial workshop for students, it was apparent that more students would benefit from our lessons if their teachers were able to conduct the lessons in their own classrooms using authentic curriculum. We also found that the teachers were desperate for curriculum, knowledge and supplies to be able to teach the concepts. The result is a collection of lessons satisfying the needs of younger students and a professional development workshop for teachers in which hands-on lessons, scientific inquiry, and scientific literacy are combined to deepen the understanding and interest in the study of optics.
© 2007 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article