1 minute read

Not quite Sharks With Lasers.
However, jello makes an excellent medium that kids can use to design and create lenses to explore properties of light.

Laser Jello Laser Jello
Internal Refraction Angle change

In honor of Dr. Donna Strickland

2018 Nobel prize winner in Physics for creating the technique of Chirped Pulse Amplification(CPA) for lasers, where a laser is pulsed over a short time to increase it’s power!


Explore properties of lenses and light


  • Jello: 5 packages
  • Plain gelatin
  • Lasers
  • Cookie cutters (optional)
  • Disposable table cloth (optional)

Challenge Materials (Optional)

  • Bulls eye
  • Cookie sheet to contain the challenge experiment
  • Masking tape


Easy and safe

Mess Factor

High. Disposable table cloth should be used since you will get Jello everywhere.


Do add a challenge, otherwise this becomes pure play. Which is not bad, but if you want them to learn more then a challenge is needed.

  • Make the jello thick like Jello jigglers. The jello needs to be able to stand up on its own.
    • One packet of Jello with one packet of plain gelatin works well.
  • Set the jello on a cookie sheet. Easier to cut into lenses
  • Make lots of jello. More than you think you need.



  • Laser starts at the starting point
  • Laser must hit the end point
  • Use any shape of Jello
  • Laser must stay within the cookie sheet
  • You can only use the Jello to bend the light.

Bend light 90 degrees and hit a target

  • Place the masking tape on one side of the cookie sheet to indicate the start point.
  • Place another piece of tape on a another side to indicate the goal.

Bend light 180 degrees and hit a target.

Laser Jello