We happen to live in a wonderful area to see the total eclipse in August. It will be so exciting to watch it. You can’t look directly at the sun during an eclipse. You can use a pinhole camera or camera obscura to watch it. Today I am sharing with you how to make a pinhole camera. Later in the week, I will share with you how to make a cereal box camera obscura.
Even before the eclipse, it will be fun for your children to use the pinhole camera outside. They will have fun viewing the world upside down.
Creating the Pinhole Camera
The first thing you will need to do is gather the supplies. You will need the following.
- Oatmeal Container
- Sharp Object (Knife, Push Pin, Thumb Tack)
- Parchment Paper
- Clear Tape
- Duct Tape
Constructing the Pinhole Camera
Getting the Oatmeal Container Ready
You will need to start by place a small hole in the bottom of the oatmeal container. It is easier to put the whole in the container while it is in one piece.
Then you will need to draw a line around the container about 2 1/4 inches from the bottom.
Next, you will cut along the line to separate the bottom section of the oatmeal container from the top.
Creating the Screen
Now it is time to trace the bottom of the lid to the oatmeal container onto parchment paper. Once you have it traced you can cut it out.
The parchment paper circle will need to be glued onto the top of the lid. Once the glue is dry, you can place the lid on the bottom section of the oatmeal container.
Finishing Up the Pinhole Camera
The final step is to tape the two sections of the oatmeal container together. There are two steps to this process.
You will need to line up the edges and place clear tape vertically across the seam in several places. This will make it easier to add the duct tape. If you skip this step, the two sections may be hard to hold together and tape.
Finally, you will add the duct tape horizontally across the seam between the two sections. The thickness of the duct tape will keep light from seeping into the pinhole camera.
If you like this STEM experiment, here are some more I think you will like:
If you would like to read about eclipse with your children, here are some wonderful books:
When the Sun Goes Dark – This book explores ways to create an eclipse in your house and how to get ready to view the total eclipse outside.
TOTAL Eclipse Or Bust!: A Family Road Trip– A family heads out to see an eclipse and information they learn about eclipses.
Eclipses (The Night Sky: and Other Amazing Sights in Space)– This book shares a lot of information about eclipses at a level children will understand.