Doing the Activity
1. Explain that animals use echolocation in the water and in the air. Ask the class to come up with animals that use echolocation
Ex. bats and dolphins
2. Explain that in our world, we are typically only concerned with 2 dimensions, but echolocators have to look up, down, left and right, so they are dealing with 3 dimensions.
3. One group of 3-5 students will enter the dark room for 10 minutes.
4. Using the laser pointer, students should identify as many buttons as possible. They should describe the size, shape, and color and location.
NOTE: Students should look for the buttons directly, not the string attaching them to the ceiling! Bats and dolphins don’t have strings to use when searching for food.
5. After all the students have done the activity, discuss the following topics:
a. Animals that use echolocation are able to send out very narrowly focused sound so that they can easily pinpoint the location of objects and fish. Why do you think you used a laser pointer instead of a flashlight?
b. Verbally list the size and location (in all 3 dimensions) of every button identified with the laser pointer.