This may sound a strange premise for a science fiction story, but maybe it has a resonance for some of the physics educators who contribute to this site. At a meeting this morning, one of my colleagues remembered a short story dealing with a professor doing some dull demonstrations in an electricity and magnetism course (presumably at university level). In the course of the demonstration he found that aligning the coils in a certain configuration produced the image of an alien performing an "exotic dance", much to the delight of the students in the class.
It is a short story, just a few pages. He read it in an anthology from the 1960s or earlier, and it's quite probable that Pictures Don't Lie by Katherine MacLean also appeared in it. This appears in quite a few anthologies though, so it doesn't limit things all that much.