Lesson Focus

Lesson focuses on the many uses of periscopes and how this simple device was designed and is used in many applications. Students work in teams to design and build their own working periscope out of everyday materials. They design their periscope, build and test it, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.


Full Lesson Plan
Student Worksheets

Age Levels:

8 – 18


  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn about periscopes and optical devices.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society’s challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.

Anticipated Learner Outcomes

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • engineering design
  • mirrors and light
  • teamwork

Lesson Activities

Students explore how devices — such as the periscope — have evolved over time to meet societal needs. Students work in teams to develop a periscope that can be used to identify a series of objects that are out of direct sight. They are encouraged to be creative in their end product and will develop a design, present it to the class, build the periscope, test it, and reflect on the activity.


  • Teacher Resource Documents
  • Student Resource Sheet
  • Student Worksheet

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.