skip to main content

Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Molecular Expressions: Activities in Optics - Mirrors and Images

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

Tech Product Equipment

Computer(s), Internet access, and projector

Activity Description

In this activity, students place an object between two hinged mirrors and explore the relationship between the number of objects seen and the angle between the two mirrors. Students should have some understanding of incident rays, reflected rays, and the general behavior of mirrors before beginning this activity.


  1. Review the Student Activity. and Teacher Resources. for this activity. Review the questions and revise as needed to meet the level of your students.
  2. Gather needed materials: a small object such as a coin or paper clip, two 4x6 inch mirrors, masking tape, paper, and protractor.
  3. Make copies of student directions or project them on the board.


  1. Review incident rays, reflected rays, and the general behavior of mirrors.
  2. Introduce the activity.
  3. Divide students into small groups and pass out materials.
  4. Give students time to explore in their groups.
  5. Walk around the room guiding instruction as needed.
  6. Have students answer the questions.
  7. Show the Interactive Java Tutorial.
  8. Discuss the results as a class and compare findings.

Teacher Tips

After students achieve a better understanding of the basic principles and theories behind optics and related topics, they can explore them to advanced levels through the various features of the Molecular Expressions Web site.

More Ways

Be sure to check the Activity Extensions in the Teacher Guidebook for reading and writing activities that complement this activity.

Many of the teacher activity pages are equipped with activity extensions, which may include historical and artist vignettes related to the topic, as well as additional discussion ideas and student, or class projects.

Select subjects and subcategories


  • General Science
  • Physical Science
Scroll To Top

OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.