Color Analyzers

Grades 5—8

Written by Cary I. Sneider, Alan Gould,
and Cheryll Hawthorne

Teasing a rainbow from a lightbulb. Decoding messages from abstract art. Unveiling the answer to why an apple looks red. Through these activities and others in this unit, students are immediately and physically involved in investigations of light, color, and the wonders of how our eyes work.

Experimenting with color filters, students decipher secret messages—and create their own—as they learn how certain colors are better reflected from some items than others—why that apple looks red, for instance. They use diffraction gratings to appreciate how many "hidden" colors a source gives off, even though our naked eye perceives only one.

A background section provides information on color, light, and how the eye and brain sense and comprehend color. The guide's colorful front cover camouflages a secret message used in class activities; the back cover's photo of a nebula, when viewed through different filters, helps students understand how color filters help astronomers scan the heavens.

Two other GEMS guides, More Than Magnifiers and
Microscopic Explorations, make excellent connections to this unit.

The class set of color filters and diffraction gratings necessary for these activities must be purchased separately. The set is available through Carolina Biological Supply Company. To order call 1-800-334-5551 extension 6252.

Comment on this GEMS unit.

Color Analyzers

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ISBN: Grade Level Format Price


Grades 5—8

4 sessions,
80 pages


Lawrence Hall of Science    © 2004 UC Regents. All rights reserved.    Contact GEMS    Updated October 07, 2020