Fly eye lens

View the world or artwork through a 'fly eye' lens, which splits the image into many overlapping images.
Science content
Biology: Features, Adaptations of Living Things (K, 1, 3, 7)
Biology: Sensing, Organ Systems (4, 5, 6)
Lessons activity is in
  • fly eye
  • paper and markers

Students look through the fly eye, and draw their own art to look at with it.

Bees and other insects, as well as crustaceans, have compound eyes:

The 'fly eye' lens roughly models what information is collected by a compound eye, but not what the animal actually sees.
Each of the tiny lenses in a compound eye collect light from part of the scene in front of them. But then these images are combined in the animal's brain to make one image.
The image they see is actually a low resolution image, like an image made up of very few pixels: Looking at close-up art work, the fly eye does a better job than the "Hollywood" version in this link at mimicing the images gathered by a compound eye, but is still too high resolution.

Although compound eyes have very low resolution, they have a very large view angle, as well as the ability to detect very fast movement.

Grades taught
Gr 1