We've finally got around to starting a 'project' on Leonardo da Vinci.
[I put 'project' in inverted commas so I don't jinx it. Projects without inverted commas get scared and run away or take over and become dicatatorial. No this is just an ordinary, everyday, insignificant, modest little 'project'.]
We are reading Leonardo's Shadow by Christopher Grey, which is surprisingly funny. Yes. I think this is one I am going to enjoy reading out loud. And it is shorter than The Kin, our last read aloud.
We have also been looking in Amazing Leonardo Da Vinci Inventions You Can Make Yourself by Maxine Anderson and came across instructions for making a Camera Obscura. A camera obscura is basically a dark box or a dark room with a very small hole in one side that lets in light. An upside-down image of the outside is projected on the opposite side to the hole. It's a good demonstration of how an eye works (There is further info about camera obsuras here )
For those of you who don't have the book, and can't understand our instructions, there are perfectly adequate instructions here . This activity requires the consumption of a tin of Pringles, which for me is always a good way to start something practical.
You will need:
tape (parcel or duct tape is good, but most will do)
a sharp knife for cutting cardboard (we used a serrated kitchen knife).
A ruler and a pen for marking where you need to cut
Below are some photos and (very brief) instructions.
Get an empty Pringle tin (with lid). Cut the tin apart 2inches from the metal base.
Fit the lid on the short stumpy bit of the tin. We found it best to tape a piece of greaseproof paper over the see through lid to improve the image (not shown here):
(You'll probably need to tape round it to get it to stay fixed) (see below):
Tape the longer piece of tube on top of the stumpy bit. The lid will be sandwiched in between the two tubes.
Roll the whole tube in several layers of foil (not shown) to make sure it is completely dark inside. (obviously don't cover up the pin hole). Tuck any ends into the open end of the tube.
Look through the open end (not the bit with the tiny hole in - as we found out that doesn't work). You should see an upside down image of whatever you are pointing at on the lid 'screen'.
It's best on a bright sunny day, or in good strong light. Cup your
hands over the end nearest your eye or put a towel over your head, if it's difficult to see.
This is the best photo we could get down the tube. (It doesn't really do it justice).