Create X-Ray Puzzles
In this science activity, kids will create and use puzzles made from x-rays.
X-rays use small amounts of electromagnetic radiation to help doctors and veterinarians see inside their patients. This technology -- one of the most important advances in medical history -- was discovered entirely by accident by German physicist Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen. While doing an experiment with cathode rays and glass, he became curious about the glow coming from a nearby chemically-coated screen. When he investigated, he ultimately discovered that he could see the bones through his own skin. He was awarded the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901 for making this remarkable discovery.
X-rays are much like light rays, except their shorter wavelength and higher energy allows them to pass through some objects, such as skin. X-rays do not, however, pass through bone and other higher density objects. This allows scientists to form images of things otherwise hidden under the skin.
Print out one or more x-rays of people or animals or both. (You may be able to get actual x-rays from a doctor or veterinarian in your community, or you can use Google to find images that you can use for educational purposes.) Laminating your x-rays will allow the puzzles you create to last longer.
Cut the images into puzzle pieces -- larger pieces for younger kids, smaller pieces for older kids.
Have the kids break up into groups.
Give each group an x-ray puzzle and allow the kids a few minutes to put them together. You can have them rotate through the different x-ray puzzles so they can see what more than one looks like.
A fun extension is to provide printouts of the items that have been x-rayed to see if the kids can match them up.