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2020 Vision: Science of Sight

Can you see it ahead? It's not too far out now.

It is about time... It's the 2020 New Year! What's better than to bring on the New Year with some fun facts about one of your amazing senses. As vision boards are being put into focus let's explore the Science of Sight!

The only organ more complex than the eye is the brain. Which both work together to make sense of world, near and far from us. When you see something a message is sent to your brain to make sense of the image. The brain stores that image for 1/10 to 1/30th of a second. Movies show a new frame every 1/24th of a second! If the brain did not store the image all we would see is darkness. Your eyes can distinguish approximately 10 million different colors.

Something easy to do is make a Thaumatrope, an optical toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk of paper with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string (an easier version is the two disks attached to a stick, straw, or skewer). The picture on the back side should be upside down if you do it on string, in order for it to work properly. See photo above of the two examples. When the strings are twirled or stick is twisted quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision, the optical illusion that occurs when visual perception of an object does not cease for some time after the rays of light proceeding from it have ceased to enter the eye.

Examples of common thaumatrope pictures include a bare tree on one side of the disk, and its leaves on the other, or a bird on one side and a cage on the other. Many classic thaumatropes also included riddles or short poems, with one line on each side. One great idea is to write "My New Year's Resolution is..." on the front and your completing statement on the back.


Only 1/6 of your eyeball is visible! The size of your eye stays fairly the same size; just under the size of a gumball. There are many parts of the eyeball all with different jobs. One part is the pupil. The pupil is the opening to the inner chamber of the eye and is known as "the window of the world". Pupils appear black because light passes through them and does not return.


One fun way to watch the pupil at work is in the dark. Grab a mirror or a partner and shutoff the lights for a few seconds. Get ready to stare into your partner's eyes or your own in the mirror reflection. Turn on the lights and watch the pupil change its size from big to small!

The average person blinks 12 times a minute (bet you just blinked!).

It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.
The farthest you can see is about 3 miles away, a burning candle 1.6 miles away.


Since 1609 the telescope had been introduced to astronomers by Galileo, revised in 1704 by Newton to use a curved lens and reflected light, but the credit for the first real binocular telescope goes to J. P. Lemiere who devised one in 1825. Now popular use is for bird watching and nature studying. Young scientists will enjoy the sights they see with their own binoculars.

Field Binoculars are now in stock in the Science Shop.

Use code FIRST15 to receive 15% off your online order.

Get a real view of what's ahead in 2020 and take a Science Experience Class or order the new DIYSci Kits. Each at-home Kit comes with a Book, Experiment, and Craft that supports early STEAM Learning. The Sun Kit is available now.

Science Experience Classes begin January 2nd and continue through the end of May at these following locations:
Mid Pinellas Learn and Play (must register in Nature School)
Largo Learning Academy (must register in Homeschool Co-op)

DROP-INS are Welcome:
Sylvia's Clubhouse ($5/class or 9 for $30-offer ends 1/31)
Tribe Seminole Heights ($5/class goes directly to community center)
Little Explorers ($5/class or 9 for $30-offer ends 1/31)


To book a Science Experience Class or a Science Toy Fundraiser in the Tampa Bay market, please visit www.philanthrolabscienceshop.com or contact Stacey Diaz at philanthrolab@gmail.com.