The Optics Bench Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive could be used at just about any stage of a learning cycle on lenses.  The Interactive excels at demonstrating how the characteristics of the image are dependent upon the location of the object. It is also quite useful in depicting the ray diagrams for object locations in front of converging and diverging lenses. Instructors who use this simulation in their classrooms should give careful thought to the appropriate balance between hands-on lab experiences and the use of computer simulations.

Our Optics Bench simulation is now available with a Concept Checker that focuses on Converging Lenses. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with the Concept Checker.


Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Optics Bench Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments RL7, RL8, RL9, RL10, and RL11 of the Refraction and Lens module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.
  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Ray Diagrams for Converging Lenses
    Ray Diagrams for Diverging Lenses
    Lenses and Mirrors - Applying Concepts
    Lens Practice

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Three notable lab ideas include ...

    Exploring Lens Lab
    The L•O•S•T Art of Image Description
    Lens Equation Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.
  • Science Reasoning Activities:
    Science classrooms should be filled with reasoning activities. There are two related activities in the Refraction section of the Science Reasoning Center and at the ACT Test Center that will challenge students to employ close reading, data analysis, and logical reasoning. The activities are named ...

    Lens Magnification Lab
    Depth of Field

    Visit the Science Reasoning Center.

    Visit ACT Test Center.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Optics Bench into an instructional unit on lenses can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive and for contributing it to our collection of Physics Interactives. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.


The Physics Classroom has not prepared any activities for use with this Interactive. We are confident that teachers who use our website will come up with plenty of great ideas for using the Skydiver Interactive and we invite you to share those ideas with us. Please share your ideas on our social media websites:

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Visit: Interactive