Science Fun

Perry Harrison is our Spotlight School of the Week

Posted On: 24 Jan


GRADE: 3rd
PROGRAM: Skin N’ Bones
Scientist: Davis

I had so much fun at Perry Harrison today!
I was teaching Skin N’ Bones, which I learned today, is my new favorite program! It has everything you could want! Fun challenges testing your reflexes, difficult tests of the mind, and you even get to hold a cow heart!!!

I was amazed, however, to discover the experiment that seemed to stand out the most to the students today was the test of the pupillary light reflex. I begin the discussion like this:
Do you ever wake up in the morning, and the lights are off, and you are so comfy you feel like you’ve melted into your mattress. And you can see everything in the room even though the lights are off. And you’re lying there so comfy and you say to yourself “Ahhh, I love my bed! I’m never leaving! I will live out the rest of my days right here! And just as your are snuggling yourself into your sheets, your mom, or dad, or brother or sister comes in and turns on the lights and says “WAKE UP!” and then your eyes MELT OUT OF YOUR FACE BECAUSE THE LIGHT HURTS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!

I then explain to them, that the big reason for this is that you have dilated pupils. When the room is dark, your pupils grow to let in more light. When the lights come on suddenly, light is able to flood into those big peepers, and it overloads your dark adjusted eyes! Once the light has come in however, your pupils actually shrink, allowing in less light. This happens automatically without our control and is called the Pupillary Light Reflex. I then tell the kids that they can actually see this happen using a mirror and a flashlight. Simply look at your pupil in the mirror, and then shine a (dim) flashlight on your eye. You should see your pupil shrink very quickly.

Watching the students at Perry Harrison experiment with their pupils was so much fun. Many knew that this reflex happened, but had never seen it before. Every time they would watch their pupils shrink they would shout “THIS IS SO CREEPY!!!” (giggling the whole time).

I get so much joy out of watching students enjoy these new experiences in science and I appreciate Perry Harrison for having me in to share those experiences with their 3rd grade students!

Have a wonderful day!
Scientist Davis

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