fbpx Skip to main content
Lost Beauty II Now Open! Pre-purchased tickets encouraged. Reserve online.

Virtual Science Fair

View All Activities
science icon yellow - Light Tag—You’re It!

Light Tag—You’re It!

Have science fun as a family! Complete activities with parental supervision.

  • A flashlight
  • Hand mirror
  1. Make some space in a dimly lit room. If necessary, close blinds or curtains to darken the room.
  2. For the tag game, you need at least two players. But if you don’t have a second person to play with, pick some areas in the room to target (pictures on the wall, the arm of a chair, a stuffed animal, etc).
  3. Shine the flashlight at the mirror and watch how the light reflects. Adjust the angle of your mirror to move the light from side to side or up and down.
  4. Once you’re comfortable with how the light and mirror work, let’s play! Moving the reflected light, try to “tag” the other player with the beam of light.
  5. When you tag the other player, it’s their turn! Keep taking turns for as long as you want to play.
  6. Be sure to take a picture or video to share in the Facebook comments on the Buffalo Museum of Science or Tifft Nature Preserve pages!

What’s it all about?

Have you ever noticed a shiny piece of metal on the ground? Or seen a light that seems to appear and disappear? Those flashes of light are the result of changes in the direction of light waves. Light waves are all around us and are what make our vision possible. When light hits one surface and bounces off it’s called reflection.

We see reflection in mirrors, but you can see it on a variety of surfaces at home and in the world. The texture of the reflective surface changes what we see reflected back to us. How does a reflection on water look different when the wind is blowing versus when the water is still? The angle of the light hitting the surface is equal and opposite to the angle of the bounce of that light – this is called the law of reflection.

Try It!
  • What can you use other than a flashlight? Try this on a sunny day! Stand by a sunny window and point your reflective surface at the window to “catch” the sunlight.
  • Try other reflective surfaces! What other materials around the house reflect light like a mirror?
  • You can even try to make your own mirror. Take some aluminum foil or flatten a clean snack bag (the type with a shiny lining). Glue it to a piece of cardboard, shiny side out. The smoother you can get the shiny surface, the clearer the reflection will be.
  • Try it with two! Stand next to someone in front of the window. Pick a spot around the inside of the room and see who can move their spotlight there first. Are you both holding your mirrors at the same angle or are they different?
IMG 20200324 170913498 scaled - Light Tag—You’re It!
IMG 20200324 170920934 scaled - Light Tag—You’re It!
IMG 20200324 170932325 scaled - Light Tag—You’re It!

More Great Virtual Science Fair Activities

  • Decoder Wheel

    Secret codes have been used for thousands of years to send messages that you didn’t want just anyone reading. Try your hand at cryptography, the study of secret codes, in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Bird Beaks

    Explore how different bird beak adaptations can help birds eat and survive in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Saltwater, Freshwater

    How do you make drinkable water out of saltwater? Try making a solar sill in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity

  • Earthquake Epicenter

    Western New York had its very own earthquake yesterday afternoon! Scientists determined that the epicenter of this 2.3 magnitude earthquake was in Wanakah, NY - but what IS an epicenter? Check out this Virtual Science Fair activity to find out!Open Activity

  • Penny Chemistry

    Find out why the Statue of Liberty is that light green color in this Virtual Science Fair activity!Open Activity