Easy Activities

These experiments explore the basic concepts of light and color. They will help you understand how light travels and how color and light interact with each other to produce amazing results. Activities in this section are suitable for scientists five and older. No matter your age, if you are just beginning your exploration of the science light, you should start here. Once you understand the concepts and master these activities, host a science fair!
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Angles of Reflection Have you ever wondered why you can see your face in a mirror? This occurs because mirrors are very smooth and shiny. Light bounces, or reflects, off of the smooth and shiny surface of mirrors. When you see your face in a mirror you are seeing light from your face reflecting off of the mirror.
Black is Black — Or is it? This activity explores capillary action - how water moves up paper - and chromatography - how different elements of the ink are carried along at different rates, allowing you to see that black ink is actually made up of many different colors.
Blue Sky — Red Sunset Whenever it's not completely filled with clouds, we can see that the sky is blue. As the sun rises and as it sets, it looks red. These two observations are related, as this experiment will show.
Make a Green Gumball Black A red object appears red because it reflects mostly red light back to your eyes. All the other colors of visible light are absorbed into the object. But what can make a green gumball black?
Make Money Appear Before Your Eyes If light meets a boundary between two materials head on, what happens? When it strikes the boundary between transparent materials at an angle, which way does it go? How do these things relate to making money appear and disappear?
Release the Rainbow In this activity, you will create a water prism to break light into the seven colors of the rainbow.
Spinning Your (Color) Wheels In the activity you learn to create white light.
Watch TV Upside Down on a Piece of Paper You can make an image with your magnifying glass of almost anything: a window with the sun shining through it, a tree outside in your yard, or even the dog in your neighbor’s yard. However, these are rather boring things to look at, especially when your home contains something much more entertaining. One of the greatest image-generating sources in your house is the television set.
Why Are Bubbles So Colorful? In this activity we'll examine this strange phenomenon and how we can experience it throughout nature. We'll also examine what thin slits do to light and how this phenomenon is similar to that of bubbles and oil slicks.

Activity of the Moment

Release the Rainbow

In this activity, you will create a water prism to break light into the seven colors of the rainbow.