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Pinhole Projector

Safety Notes

  • Never look at the Sun directly without special eye protection like safe viewing eclipse glasses.
  • Always keep your back toward the Sun when using the pinhole projector.
  • Do not look directly at the Sun through the pinhole.

Activity Supplies

  • Kit brochure or Index Card
  • Sharpened pencil
  • Piece of White Paper

Activity Steps

  1. Cut off the card along the dashed line.
  2. Poke a small hole in the designated spot on the card using the point of a sharpened pencil.
  3. Smooth the hole to the correct size by spinning the pencil.
  4. Go outside and place a piece of white paper on the ground so it is in the sunlight.
  5. With your back to the Sun, hold the pinhole projector card 3 or 4 feet above the paper.
  6. The pinhole projector should cast a shadow onto the paper with sunlight shining through the hole.
  7. You should see a small disk on the lower paper. This is an inverted image of the Sun. During the eclipse, this image will show all of the eclipse phases.
  8. Try experimenting with different hole sizes. A large hole will make the image bright but blurry; a small hole will make it dim but sharp.

Official Lesson Plan