Photon Phun

1) Could you please provide some examples of hands on experiments that would be asked 4th and 5th graders?
2) Are 4th and 5th graders expected to be able to draw ray diagrams?


1)The hands on experiments may come from any of the Concepts to Cover or Additional Concepts section of the Photon Phun Study Guide.  They are designed to be hands on applications of the concepts they have been studying and should take only a few minutes each to complete the experiment and answer some questions about their observations.

2)The 4th and 5th graders will not be asked to draw any ray diagrams for  lenses.  They are expected to be familiar with with them however – and likely have already come across ray diagrams in your discussions of convergent and divergent lenses.  They are expected to be be able to draw a reflection diagramsimilar to the one provided on page 2 of the Study Guide.


Photon Phun

Q: Is there no test for the 2nd and 3rd grades Photon Phun competition? I notice in the students answer written questions, but this seems to be different from the multiple-choice test the 4th-5th graders take. Is that correct?

A: 2nd and 3rd graders will have 1-2 Hands on station in addition to the Reflection Relay.  There will be questions about these hands on activities.
You are correct!  4-5 graders will also have hands on stations, AND a multiple choice test that will cover additional concepts in the event description.  4-5 graders will also have a reflection diagram to complete during the event.
Please note:  Hands-on station questions and the reflection diagram are not necessarily multiple-choice questions.

Photon Phun

Photon Phun Learning Resources:

Please keep in mind that the following study links may only have 2-3 minutes of Photon Phun targeted material explained within a larger concept. Refer to the event description for concepts that will be tested in WESO 2019.

 Khan Academy Concept links

Intro to Light

Wave Lengths: LIght and Photosynthesis Pigments

Photons Photoelectric effect

Properties of Periodic Waves

Prism experiment

Laws of reflection


AAHOM Exhibits and Locations

If you are looking for additional ways to help your team visualize the concepts, visit the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum! The list of exhibits below will help your team better understand the concepts of light and waves. Again, please refer to the event description for concepts that will be tested in WESO 2019.

Properties of Light

Camera Obscura 2nd

Light and Optics Exhibit 3rd Floor

Colors of Light

Bending Rays of Light

Reflection, refraction, convex, concave

Interferometer waves

Iridescence, Fluorescence, Illumination


Prisms and Optics


Black + White color wheel 4th

Perception (light and sound) 4th

Oscyclinder scope 4th


WAVES – Sound

Sound Delay Tube LL
Hearing Frequency LL
Telegraph LL
Sound Patterns LL
Crystal Radio LL
Wave Machine 2nd
Whisper Dish 2nd
Perception (light and sound) 4th
Vibrating Strings 4th


All Event Descriptions Now Available

Detailed event descriptions are now available for all events. Please visit the Events page to see an index to the pages. Some events have study guides or other supplemental materials – check each event’s page for those materials.

Four events also have links to videos on YouTube that provide further instruction or guidance for coaches and teams: GENE-ius, Map Reading, Photon Phun, and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.