Periscopes are simple devices that let someone watch something while staying hidden. They are most famously used in submarines, letting the submarine stay underwater while the user can see what is on the surface. At home they can be useful watching birds or other wild-life. They are fairly simple to make, but you will need a mirror that can be cut – either a plastic mirror, or some mirror board. You might find these in pound shops; you can also buy them on line (but you will probably have to buy them in a pack, so you may have lots left over). Or you can try kitchen foil – the results aren’t quite so good (because it is difficult to keep the foil absolutely smooth) but you can try this very cost solution first and then see if you want to make the slightly more expensive version with plastic mirrors.

You will need this template

Periscope Templates .pdf

If you can, print the template onto thin card. This will mean your periscope is more robust and longer lasting. Or you can print out the design and then stick it onto card before cutting out.

Cut out the shape, following the solid black lines.

When you have cut out the shape, fold it along the dotted lines. Sellotape the sides together to form a square tube, so that the printing is on the outside.

Now fix a square of plastic mirror (or mirrorboard, or kitchen foil) onto the INSIDE of flaps A and B.

Use the tabs on flaps A and B to sellotape the flaps to the diagonals of the tube.

Your periscope is now finished and ready for use.

For careers linked to this type of activity see Transport and Aerospace

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