Classroom Activity

Making a Periscope
First page of Making a Periscope

The information in this document was accurate as of the original publication date.

Audience: Educators
Grades: 5-12


A periscope is an optical instrument that uses a system of prisms, lenses or mirrors to reflect images through a tube. Light from a distant object strikes the top mirror and is then reflected at an angle of 90 degrees down the periscope tube. At the bottom of the periscope, the light strikes another mirror and is then reflected into the viewer's eye. This simple periscope uses only flat mirrors as compared to the periscopes used on submarines, which are usually a complex optical system using both lenses and mirrors.

Making a Periscope  [114KB PDF file]

This activity is part of the Optics Educator Guide.