Color Absorption and Reflection with M&M’s

Project Description

Color Absorption and Reflection with M&M’s

Color is familiar, but more complicated than students think. Why IS that m&m red and that other one green. Of course, it all has to do with light! Can YOU sort the m&ms with just a green light? or just a red light? Let’s see! This activity will make it super clear what color absorption and reflection is.

Download the FREE Lesson – Color with M&Ms

Grades: 3 to 8
Duration: 1/2 Hour – 1 Hour

NGSS Connections PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation

  • When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and the frequency (color) of the light (MS-PS4-2)

Supplies: A set of Light BLOX (Red/Green/Blu), 1 White LED or flashlight, package of m&m’s

Featured Products
Light Blox Kit

Light Blox Kit

Light Blox

Light Blox

Color reflection: Sort the m&m’s Under White Light

Turn the room lights off – in the dark, use the on the white LED and hold it over the unsorted M&M;’s. Sort them into each of their labeled color boxes.

 

Instructor Tip:
It is important to have the room as dark as possible so that the LED light the students are using is the only source of light.

 

Sort the m&m’s under GREEN Light

Place the M&M;’s in the unsorted box again and repeat the experiment using the GREEN Light Blox as your only source of light.

Once sorted, turn on the room lights and check to see whether the M&M;’s are in the correct boxes.

How many did you get right? How many wrong? Why?? What’s going on?

Sort the m&m’s with Red and Blue Light

Repeat the experiment again using the Red and then Blue Light Blox. (This order is recommended, since the results just get crazier!)

Once sorted, turn on the room lights and check to see whether the M&M;’s are in the correct boxes.

How many did you get right? How many wrong? Why?? What’s going on? What does this tell us about how light works?

Instructor Tip:
This video walks teachers through this activity and the background information for it step by step.

 

 

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