Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Cindy Linn

Second Advisor

John Geiser

Third Advisor

Becky Cooper


The human visual apparatus is a remarkable feat of evolution that is nearly a complete mystery to many in the general population. Introducing such a challenging topic is difficult, but, if done in an enjoyable and interactive way to a young audience, the eye can become exciting instead of confusing. The primary objective of this project was to create a short lesson for elementary school students that gave an understanding of the eye's basic anatomy and functions. A fast-paced, interactive format was decided on that included units on the major eye components; color vision and how it can be affected; and how the brain interprets images as illustrated by optical illusions and the optic disc “blind spot.” The longer term, secondary objectives were to encourage healthy vision habits (something of ever-increasing importance in the digital age) and, hopefully, to spark some interest in the sciences. This lesson was given to three different classes at Arcadia Elementary in Kalamazoo, MI—one second-grade and two third-grade—and was considered a success by both the presenter and all classroom teachers. Results were gathered from observations during each presentation as well as a brief discussion with the teachers later the same day.


Video accompanying.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access