1st Class (Ms. Phelan) Light Bending Refraction!

Today we had good fun still working on our Science Fair entry exploring Light.

What’s going on? Is the straw broken?


So we already proved that light travels in a straight line. But does it ever bend?

Prediction: We really don’t know!


  • Tall glass
  • Straws
  • Water


  1. Fill a tall glass with water.
  2. Check that the straw is straight. It is.
  3. Place the straw into the glass of water.
  4. Observe the straw looking through the glass.

Results: When looking through the glass of water, the straw appears to be broken or bent.


Refraction! Refraction is the bending of light as it passes from one medium (like air) through another medium (like a glass of water)!

We compared this to running on a running track and trying to run in the swimming pool. In air we can run super fast! But in the water in the pool, our running is much slower.


It is the same for the speed of light. In air the speed of light in 300,000 km per second! But it slows down in glass and water…..and bends in the process.

To finish off our explorations, we decoded some secret mirror writing messages by viewing them through the glass of water. The glass of water bends the light and allows us to read the mirror writing the right way around.

Post Author: Linda Phelan