Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mixing Colors

Today, our science and art classes went together quite well. We are studying colors this week in science, and our art lesson today is also about colors. Well, I guess art is almost always about colors, in some form or fashion, but this week's lesson is about mixing colors, blending white with bright colors to make paler ones. And our science experiment we did today was mixing primary-colored water to make new colors (e.g. red + yellow = orange).

The science experiment was made much easier, and more fun, by using the jumbo test tubes I just won in a Facebook contest by Discover This (website: http://www.discoverthis.com/). They had posted a picture on facebook of some mystery object magnified 43x. I guessed it was the bottom of a mouse pad, which turned out to be correct! So they sent me these test tubes, as well as a Magic School Bus volcano kit, which I plan to use in conjunction with week 16 of our Intro to Science course, which is on volcanos. Pretty neat how it all fits together!

So, for the color mixing experiment, the experiment called for using 3 squeezable bottles (like empty dishwashing soap containers) full of water dyed with food coloring, in the 3 primary colors of red, blue, and yellow. They the kids could squeeze the colored water into clear bowls to mix colors in various combinations. I didn't have 3 squeezable bottles on hand, so what we did instead was take 3 clear plastic bowls and filled them with the 3 primary colors (food-color-dyed water). Then I gave each child a medicine dropper and one of the jumbo test tubes, and they were "scientists" mixing "solutions" of color.The girls loved it, and did quite well. My 2-year-old Ryan loved it, but could not for the life of him figure out how to fill up the medicine dropper. So I filled the dropper for him, and he squirted it into his test tube. Mostly. His aim is not so good, so we used quite a few washrags to clean up all the spilled/squirted water everywhere.

Going along with the color theme, the nature walk for this week is to try and find a rainbow outside. It actually rained yesterday (we've been in drought conditions for months, so this was quite a welcome surprise), so we ran outside to look for rainbows, but unfortunately didn't find one. We might even get more rain this week, so maybe we'll find a rainbow by Friday. If not - I've got a prism handy, and we'll make our own.

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