Learn how to bend light

Weather For Kids

This experiment will demonstrate refraction

Rainbows are formed when sunlight is refracted and reflected in the raindrop. (Brush up on this topic in this edition of Weather For Kids.) Refraction is the bending of light as it passes from one medium into another. This experiment will help demonstrate that.

Items needed:

  • Paper
  • Markers
  • A clear glass of water


-Draw two arrows facing the same direction on a piece of paper
– Put the arrows behind the empty clear glass
– Pour water into the glass
– Watch what happens when the water is poured in

During the experiment, the light traveled from the image through the air, through the glass cup, through the water, through the glass again, and into the air. The light changed speed when it moved through the different things. The water also acts as a magnifying glass, which bends the light toward the center. That helped to completely flip the arrows.

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