Turn on the Night – Classroom STEM Kit

$385.00

Based on the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit developed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory for the International Year of Light, 2015, Turn on the Night, a Light and the Environment STEM Kit will be released by Laser Classroom in the spring of 2019! 

Four hands-on STEM activities invite students in grades 7-12 to plan, design and create strategies for city lighting that balance the competing concerns of humans and the environment. Using the problem solving process, students learn about issues raised by human created lighting: Glare, Sky Glow, Light Trespass and Excess Energy Consumption.

Description

Based on the Quality Lighting Teaching Kit developed by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory for the International Year of Light, 2015, Turn on the Night, a Light and the Environment STEM Kit will be released by Laser Classroom in the spring of 2019! 

Turn on the Night contains durable, reusable components for up to 30 students to conduct three hands on problem based challenges, plus a capstone challenge along with a detailed, easy to follow curriculum guide with reproducible student worksheets

Light Pollution

When industrial lighting became widely available, and nighttime became more accessible, economic activity increased dramatically and the number of potentially productive hours in a day went up by 50%! But after over 100 years of increasing light at night, we’re starting to notice some of the negative impacts of industrial lighting – Light Pollution.

Four hands-on STEM activities invite students in grades 7-12 to plan, design and create strategies for city lighting that balance the competing concerns of humans and the environment. Using the problem solving process, students learn about issues raised by human created lighting: Glare, Sky Glow, Light Trespass and Excess Energy Consumption.

Three Light Pollution Challenges

Sky Glow

Sky glow is the term for what happens when lights from a city shine up into the sky. This light scatters off of dust, water, smog, clouds, and other things in the atmosphere creating a light dome or glow over the city. Sky glow washes out the stars from view; as a result, most people in cities have never seen a dark night sky. The dark night sky has inspired the arts, literature, philosophy, and many other areas of our cultural heritage throughout all of human existence.

In this activity, students will use a star projector to determine how different kinds of lights and shields affect the number of stars that can seen.

Using the sky projector, students collect and analyze data about the impact of various types of lights on sky glow. They then use the additional materials in the kit to generate and test solutions to the problems they define.

Glare:

Glare is a visual sensation caused by excessive and uncontrolled brightness. It can be disabling or simply uncomfortable. It is subjective, and sensitivity to glare can vary widely. Older people are usually more sensitive to glare due to the aging characteristics of the eye. Disability glare is the reduction in visibility caused by intense light sources in the field of view, while discomfort glare is the sensation of annoyance or even pain induced by overly bright sources

Glare is most problematic and dangerous at night, when people are driving, because of the big difference in light intensity between the dark of night, and streetlights. This is an even bigger problem for people with eye problems such as cataracts.

In this Challenge, students explore the difficulties caused by glare as it is experienced by people who suffer from cataracts. Students will try to read the eye chart posted 20 feet (6 meters) away with simulated cataracts and a several simulated “street lights”. Students will gather and record data about how glare affects their reading ability. Finally, students conduct background research and propose solutions for designing street lights that reduce glare in their city.

Light Trespass:

Light trespass occurs when light goes where it is not needed, wanted, or intended. The most common example of light trespass is a streetlight shining into a window at night. This can make sleeping (even with curtains or blinds) difficult. The light is not shining where it is supposed to and is trespassing on other property. Light at night, in particular, can have health effects on humans.

In this activity, the students will have a 40:1 scale model of a street, complete with a house, a person, a streetlight with a slight drop-down Cobra lens (the book light) and a globe light (Mini-Maglight with the ping pong ball).

The students work to recreate the problems voiced in the citizen complaint letters, and experiment with the position and angle of the lights in the kit. They then work together as a group to come up with solutions to keep the light task-oriented (e.g., find ways to shine the light where needed) and mitigate light trespass (e.g., find ways not to shine light where it’s not needed).

Turn on the Night contains durable, reusable components for up to 30 students to conduct three hands on problem based challenges, plus a capstone challenge along with a detailed, easy to follow curriculum guide with reproducible student worksheets

Capstone Challenge: Energy

The Energy Capstone Challenge requires students to collect, calculate, record and analyze data about the energy spent, financial cost and carbon footprint generated by a city’s current night time lighting strategy. Students use their data and draw on their knowledge of the issues related to lighting cities at night to propose a new lighting strategy for the city.

This challenge is designed to be completed after students have participated in all three Task Force Challenges. Students work through Data Sheets and Calculation Sheets together as a class before students work independently in groups on the remainder of the project.

Turn on the Night contains durable, reusable components for up to 30 students to conduct three hands on problem based challenges, plus a capstone challenge along with a detailed, easy to follow curriculum guide with reproducible student worksheets