Spy Spotting Scope

Driving Question: How can we create a device that will increase our visual magnification so that we can see small objects across a room?  

Open Challenging Question: What is the minimum spy spotting scope focal length required to optically resolve the license plate on an oncoming car that is 1,000 meters away using the image sensor on your cell phone? 

Synopsis: Students will determine the magnification needed to construct a spotting scope that will observe an object at a certain distance.

Physical Science NYSSLS Standards: Students will
  • Use mathematical models to determine relationships among the size and location of images, size and location of objects, and focal lengths of lenses and mirrors.

OPT 110 Topics:

How Light Behaves – refraction