Experiment of The Week – Capture Your Shadow

Capture Your Shadow – TeacherTube

Have you ever wanted to capture your shadow? If so, Jason Lindsey aka “Mr. Science” with Hooked on Science and a kid scientist show us how by using a few ingredients from around the house.

My science helper, Brynna and I have something pretty cool to show you. This board right here, which I painted with glow-in-the-dark paint will capture Brynna’s shadow. Okay, hold it for me Brynna, just like that, put your hands right on top of the board, let’s have our studio person turn off the lights.  Here’s our bright light shining on the board with Brynna’s hands between the light and the board. Now, Brynna, something travels in a straight line until it hits something, what is that called Light! And once it hits something it can reflect, refract, or absorb. Okay, move your hands. We’ve captured your shadow. Let’s turn the lights back on and tell you what’s going on here. The glow-in-the-dark paint basically absorbs the light, Brynna’s hand is in the way, so where that paint is under her hand, it can’t absorb the light, therefore it can’t re-emit the light. Learn more about this experiment athookedonscience.org.

Capture  Your Shadow


  • Blank Canvas
  • Glow-In-The-Dark Paint
  • Bright Flash Light
  • Wax Paper
  • Construction Paper
  • Plastic Wrap

STEP 1:  Paint the blank canvas with the glow-in-the-dark paint. Allow the canvas to dry.
STEP 2:  Shine the bright flash light through a piece of wax paper, construction paper, and plastic wrap. What happened? Which object is considered translucent, transparent, and opaque? Why?
STEP 3:  Place your hand on the canvas, shine the bright flash light over your hand, turn off the bright flash light, remove your hand, and observe. What happened? Why?


The glow-in-the-dark paint absorbs light and then re-emits the light over a period of time, causing the canvas to glow. Your hand stops the light from reaching the paint, therefore preventing that area from glowing, making it look as if your shadow was captured. Go towww.hookedonscience.org for more experiments that might get you and your family “Hooked on Science.”


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