Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



OpticsforKids

OpticsforKids

Spring 2010 Website
Ages: 10 - 14 yrs.
Review:
A first visit to the Optics for Kids website is a little like a first visit to a museum: there is so much to see, and all of it is interesting. The optical illusions on the first page were a hit with our testers, who skipped the very interesting research links in favor of how to trick people with images. Go figure.

At its heart, Optics for Kids is a massive resource, filled with information about all manner of optics topics, from research and history to unanswered questions. Once kids dig into this site, if they are interested in optics, they will be consumed and disappear for hours. We'd like to see the site's producers create an opportunity to immediately connect with kids who don't know what optics is. Yes, the optical illusions are a fun start, but more challenges and questions on the front page might help pull visitors further and more quickly into the scope and breadth of learning opportunities.

Once inside the site, the try-this-at-home experiments are well worth the effort. The resources (for parents, teachers, and kids) are thorough and well considered. The profiles of optics researchers (young and old) are inspiring. The history and tutorials add icing to the cake of this unsung resource for budding scientists and optics geeks.

Fran Wilde   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Fran Wilde is a writer, 3D simulation and web developer, and educator. She is an Interactive and Immersive Narrative Designer with Rezzable Inc. of London, England, was the Director of Web Services at The Park School in Baltimore, MD, for 10 years, and taught web design and programming at both Loyola College and at the University of Baltimore's Interactive Design and Information Architecture program. Her freelance clients include schools, corporations, and non-profit groups. She edits a group blog about family travel, www.travelswithchild.org, just for fun. Fran and her family currently live in Philadelphia, PA.

Look for this product at:
Optical Society of America
http://www.opticsforkids.org

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