Today at Time Lab, we're going to try to trick our eyes into seeing something that isn’t there! This is called an optical (optical refers to our eyes) illusion (illusion refers to something that isn’t really there). When someone performs an illusion, you might hear them say, “The hand is quicker than the eye.” That means that sometimes we can move our hands more quickly than our eyes can see what is happening. Our experiment today will discover if our hands can be quicker than our eyes!
But first, let’s review what we’re learning today—something that wasn’t a trick! Today, we're learning about how Jesus returned to heaven after he had died and come back to life. Read Acts 1:6–11. Some people claim that Jesus didn’t really rise from the dead and that it was just a trick that his disciples played on other people.
Science is great for doing experiments in the present. This is called operational or observational science because we see what we are experimenting on. But when it comes to figuring out what happened in the past, sometimes called “historical science,” we can’t do experiments on past events. So we need to rely on truthful eyewitnesses for help in understanding what happened. According to several writers of the Bible, who wrote guided by God who is always truthful, Jesus really died, he really rose from the dead, and he really ascended into heaven. We can’t experiment on this scientifically today because these events happened 2,000 years ago. But there are many eyewitness accounts from people who saw Jesus after he rose from the dead and watched as he went up into heaven (1 Corinthians 15:3–6). What happened to Jesus wasn’t just a trick of the eye or an optical illusion—these events really happened!
Let’s move on to our experiment. We are going to make a thaumotrope.
For older children, pass out two index cards. On one card, they can draw a container of some type (box, bird cage, bowl, etc.) and on the other, something that goes in the container. Make sure both drawings are in the middle of the cards so that they will line up. Tape the straw on the back of one card and then tape the two index cards together, drawings facing outward and oriented in the same direction. Hold the thaumatrope at eye level about 18 inches away. With your hands, rub the straw back and forth quickly. It should appear as if the item is in the container.
For younger children, pass out the patterns. They can color them, tape the straw to the back of one, and then tape both together, drawings facing outward and oriented in the same direction. Hold the thaumatrope at eye level about 18 inches away. With your hands, rub the straw back and forth quickly. It should appear as if the item is in the container.
Pass out the God Thought of It First shark cards, 1 per child.