Color Absorption and Reflection with M&M’s

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

Grade Range: 6 to 12

Duration: 1/2 Hour – 1 Hour


  • A set of Light Blox (Red/Green/Blue)
  • 1 White LED or flashlight
  • package of M&M's

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)
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