While we established consensus on why we see objects as various colors, we put our thinking to Google Drawing. Check out the 6th graders drawing's (or comics) about why different things appear different colors.
So with some pretty interesting questions came some experiences with light and color...
And we noticed some patterns as they relate to white light and all these rainbows we saw! We began to uncover that white light is really comprised of many wavelengths of color...and we identified these colors as:
Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo Violet
That made us really think about why we see anything as a particular color, and we developed some initial models that looked like this:
Check back soon to where our thinking heads next!
We had a TON of questions that we came up with to explore light and color! So we used an online simulator that could change bulb and filter color, as well as easily manipulate three lights at once to varying degrees! We discovered why the color white appears, why black appears, why grey appears...and well, pretty much everything in between!
Now that we're on our third subquestion, "How can light have different colors?" we're thinking about how we can manipulate light to have an effect.
Using different colored filters and flashlights, we saw three big ideas:
1. Using MORE light results in a brighter color.
2. Using a colored filter over a flashlight changes the color of light we see.
3. Combining red, green, and blue light makes white light!
And while this didn't really make sense at first, it now does. Any time there's more light involved, there's more light that can scatter back to the eyes. Even if green, red, and blue are darker colored lights, combining them together makes MORE light, and when there's more light, there's a brighter color!
Sixth graders are taking their thinking to the next level...to create mathematical models of their findings between light and different materials!
We came up with a general rule:
Total Light From a Light Source = Light Transmitted + Light Reflected/Scattered + Light Absorbed
We established consensus knowing that we can now mathematically use our general rule when representing light interactions! These two students' work show the thinking behind what led us there. Next week we'll see how these mathematical models help us understand light's role in the colors we see!
Students recognized that the data they were collecting with the light meters didn't match up. All the light that came out of a light source wasn't adding up with the light measured that reflected and transmitted through a material. So it generated the question, "What else does light do when it hits a material?"
Students recognized that when they've exposed themselves to light for a long time, like in the summer when they're outside on a sunny day, they get really hot. And they get even hotter when they wear dark colors!
So we pooled together some stuff in our classroom and are investigating how light interacts with dark and clear water. We can easily measure a temperature change over a long period of time...and see if the amount of light reflected and transmitted is different...and just how different it is!
Students are agreeing that light transmits through materials...but is there a way to really know this?
We're using the light meter to collect more substantial data, and using mathematical models to support our thinking. We've uncovered some interesting findings, too, which explain that all the light that hits materials can't be explained with just reflection and transmission.
So what else does light do?