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This activity introduces the primary colors of light. Satellites transmit images to us as a series of numbers, and this activity is designed to show how numbers are combined to create images using the primary colors of light. Students work in groups... (View More)

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

This demonstration shows that similar-appearing lights can be distinctly different, suggesting that the light emitted is generated in different ways. It requires some advance preparation/setup by the teacher and three recommended sources of orange... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students will learn about how light travels by using mirrors, prisms, and shadow makers. Supplies for this investigation include mirrors, prisms, objects of differing transparency, garden hose or spray bottle,... (View More)

This article explains how Earth's atmosphere scatters the light from the sun, thereby creating the blue color we typically associate with our sky. Supplementing this article is an explanation of the importance of scattering sunlight. The article is... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (View More)

Learners will use an inexpensive, simple spectrophotometer to test how light at different visible wavelengths (blue, green, red) is transmitted, or absorbed, through four different colored water samples. Clear water is used as the “control,”... (View More)

This booklet with companion videos introduces electromagnetic waves, their behaviors, and how scientists visualize these data. Each region of the spectrum is described and illustrated with examples of NASA science.

Students simulate the process of remote sensing by using common materials to represent Earth’s different ground coverings and a light meter to represent satellite instruments. The concept of albedo and its importance in Earth’s radiation budget... (View More)

This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More)

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