This post may contain affiliate links. View the full disclosure statement for more details. Sign up for the Schooling a Monkey newsletter to gain access to more hands-on activity ideas!
Our family was watching YouTube one day, when we ran across a survival video where a man transformed ice into a magnifying glass. He used this ice magnifying glass to start a fire.
His ultimate goal was to use the ice as a method to start a fire, but we were curious to see if we could figure out how to make a magnifying glass from an ice ball. We thought this would make an excellent addition to our list of kids science projects.
We could hardly believe how well this science experiment worked!
How to Make a Magnifying Glass from Ice Science Experiment
Use these tips to transform ice into a an amazing magnification device!
- Spherical ice mold
- Purified water (otherwise your ice will be cloudy and you won’t be able to see through it)
- Objects to magnify
How to Make an Ice Magnifying Glass
We filled our spherical mold half-way with purified water and stuck it in the freezer overnight.
The next morning, we removed the ice from the mold and hand-shaped it to make the top flatter and the edges softer. This made the sphere look more like a camera lens, which improved the magnification.
Monkey used the piece of ice to magnify the world around her. We were both surprised to see that our ice magnifying glass actually had greater magnification than our handheld magnifying glass, although the image was a bit wavier.
Monkey had fun magnifying objects with the ice piece until her hands froze and the ice piece became too small to hold.
Monkey theorized that if our ice magnifying glass had been larger, it might have even greater magnification. That is something we’ll have to try next time!
The Science of Magnification
Ice is able to magnify objects through the process of angular magnification and refraction.
The light bounces off the object and travels through the magnifying glass, which bends the rays and create a virtual image on your eyes. Your eyes try to straighten the light rays which makes the object appear larger than actually is.
Find a detailed explanation on magnification here.
Join the Homeschooling 101 group for more hands-on teaching ideas!