Science Project:

Making Pictures With Dots

3.5 based on 2 ratings

  • What is a digital camera?
  • How is it different from earlier cameras?
  • What are pixels?
  • What is a grid?
  • Define resolution.
  • Define pixelization.
  • What are the effects of pixelization as an image is enlarged?

On an information level, the student will explore how picture elements, namely, dots or pixels are used in digital photographs. Were we to visit a museum and carefully study samples of paintings of the impressionists, we could readily visualize what pixels are like. What we would see are dabs of color. Were to compare these paintings with digital photos we would see a mosaic of pixels. In this project, the students will collect colored pictures from newspapers and magazines and examine them with a hand lens and a microscope and describe their observations. They will compare these pictures citing similarities and differences. In the process they will reach some very interesting conclusions. On the process level, they will use the scientific method in conducting their research and produce a final product, a research paper documented with a bibliography.

  • a large, colored, simple picture from a magazine,
  • a picture from a newspaper,
  • a piece of graph paper,
  • a piece of tracing paper,
  • colored pens,
  • a magnifying glass,
  • a microscope and tape.

All of the materials may be purchased at the local supermarket and the microscope may be borrowed from the school`s science lab.

  1. Gather all of the materials you will need to conduct this experiment. These include a large, colored, simple picture from a magazine, a picture from a newspaper, a piece of graph paper, a piece of tracing paper, colored pens, a magnifying glass, a meter stick, a TV screen and tape.
  2. Copy the Data Chart provided below so that you may readily record your observations. Construct your hypothesis as to how you think television, newspaper and magazine pictures are made. Record your hypothesis.
  3. Start with the picture you took from a magazine. Tape a piece of graph paper over the magazine picture.
  4. Select a color that you think best matches the color of the picture underneath each square and color each square making the match. Do this and complete the entire picture.
  5. What you now have are two pictures. The original magazine picture and the copy you made. Place both pictures next to each other so that you can easily compare them.
  6. Now observe and compare both pictures as you change your distance from the pictures. Start at 1m, then continue to2m, 4m, 6m, 8m, 10 m. Record your findings. At which distance did the pictures look alike? Why? Record your observations in the Data Chart.
  7. What would be the result if you were you to increase the size of the graph paper squares? What would be the result if you were to decrease the size of the squares?
  8. How does the distance from the dot (pixel) picture and the size of the dots affect the clarity of the picture?
  9. Now using a magnifying glass look closely at your newspaper picture and then at a picture on your TV screen. Compare the two. What did you discover?
  10. Go back and read your hypothesis. Were you on track?
  11. Write up your report. Be certain to include your arm chair research and your bibliography.

Data Chart

Distances

Observations

2m

4m

6m

8m

10m

Terms/Concepts: digital photograph; dots; pixels; grid; resolution; magnification; pixelization

References:

Author: Muriel Gerhard
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions

Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by Education.com's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on Education.com's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

How likely are you to recommend Education.com to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely