Help Build Science Skills: Paper Cup Projector

Imagine creating your first film. Children get to do just that with this activity. By assembling their own cup projector, children gain an understanding of how projecting light can affect sizes and shapes of images. Encourage kids to get creative with their filmstrip stories. Be sure to have enough strips of plastic so kids can create as many stories as they want.

What this activity will develop:
Science and art skills

What you'll need:
• Paper or Styrofoam cup
• Scissors or knife
• Strip of clear plastic
• Fine-tipped permanent marker
• Flashlight

Setting up:
Cut a square hole in the bottom of the cup.

Cut a slit in each side of the cup near the bottom. The slits should be wide enough for the plastic strip to slip through.

Mark panels on the strip in pencil, making them the same size as the hole in the bottom of the cup. Leave a portion of the strip blank on each end.

Use the permanent marker to draw a simple scene on each panel. Draw different scenes, or draw pictures that tell a story.

What to do:
Set up the cup projector in a dark room. Feed the plastic strip through the slits and place the flashlight in the cup opening so that the light will go through the hole in the bottom. Have your child shine the light against the wall to view his filmstrip story. Encourage kids to narrate or add music to their story.

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