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Rainbow in the Room

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Let's Talk About It

This activity provides a basic introduction to the properties of light. Students will discover that visible light consists of a mix of colors that represent only part of the spectrum of radiation produced by the sun.

Begin a class discussion about what happened when the water in the plastic container was placed on the overhead projector. Challenge students to think about what caused the rainbow to appear. Expect a variety of answers and observations, and pose questions that encourage students to think. Then, help them understand that the light is being separated into its constituent colors as it passes through the water in the container.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education