Polarized Light Art


what is polarized light? how do polarized sunglasses work? and can you use polarized light to make colorful art out of transparent material?

This STEAM lesson has includes both science and art activities. 

MATERIALS (Details in teacher notes below)

Activity 1 – Bright and Dark

  1. A polarizing filter (polarizer). This can be the lens of polarized sunglasses or a piece of polarizing film (available from science supply houses),  LCD screen such as a laptop monitor or television screen.

Activity 2 – Where Else is Polarized Light?

  1. Polarizer and a bowl of water

Activity 3 – Make a Prediction

Two polarizers

Activity 4 – Colors from Polarized Light!

  1. Polarizer and a piece of cellophane tape or food wrapper. Cellophane is the thin transparent film often used for food packaging or wrapping gift baskets.

Activity 5 – Polarized Light Art

  1. Same as Activity 4 but use a square of transparency film or other plastic to protect the monitor and polarizer from adhesive damage.


Polarized_Light_Art_Slides.pptx.zip   (PowerPoint slides with student instructions)

arte polarizado.pptx.zip (Presentaciones de PowerPoint con instrucciones para estudiantes)


Polarized_Light_Art_Observations.pdf  (Student Data and Observations)

VIDEO: Exploring Polarization

VIDEO: The Magic Box (Illusion using polarized light)

VIDEO: Polarized Light Art