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Science Experiment: Light Spectrum

Hi kids, parents, and teachers! Science projects and experiments can be fun. However, be sure to always have a parent or teacher supervising to make sure things are safe!

Purpose: To learn about the light spectrum and discover the colors of white light. For more information on the light spectrum see Light Spectrum for Kids.

Materials Procedure
  1. Use the compass to draw a circle around the inner edge of the paper plate. If the plate has a rippled area around the edge, draw the circle inside this edge.
  2. Make a small pencil mark at the center of the plate. Stick the pointed end of the compass onto the plate and draw a circle.
  3. Using scissors, cut out the circle.
  4. Starting form the mark at the center of the plate, use a ruler to draw three straight lines out to the edge of the plate so that you make three equal pie-shaped sections on the plate. Color one section red, one section green, and the last section blue.
  5. Lay your ruler across the center of the circle. Use your pencil to mark the point 3 cm to the left of the center and another point 3 cm to the right of the center.
  6. Use your pencil to punch a small hole at each point.
  7. Thread the string through the holes (in one hole and out the other) and tie the ends of the string together, forming a loop that passes through the two holes of the plate. See diagram.
  8. Center the paper plate on the string and twist the plate around until the twist is tight and meets your fingers holding the string.
  9. Pull the twisted ends of the string apart so that the string unwinds and observe the colors on the plate.
  10. Record your observations in the science journal.

Conclusion and Questions
  1. What happened to the colors on the plate?
  2. Why do you think this happened?
Answer Key

1. What happened to the colors on the plate?

The red, green, and blue colors appeared white.

2. Why do you think this change happened?

The primary colors, red, green, and blue, turn white when mixed together.

Reference: NASA SciFiles

More Light Experiments:
Light Travel - Experiment with the properties of light and how it travels.

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