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Rainbow Glasses - light defraction EMS (Laura Silverman)


          Laura Silverman, 7th grade Science, Mulholland Middle School

Principle(s) Illustrated

That white light is composed of all colors and can be separated by bending the light.


7.6. Physical principles underlie biological structures and functions.

e.  Students know that white light is a mixture of many wavelengths (colors).

f.   Students know light can be reflected, refracted, transmitted, and absorbed by matter.

Questioning Script

Prior knowledge & experience:

Rainbows are composed of many colors that are fun to look at.

Root question:

What order of colors will appear from the rainbow glasses, and in what shape.

Target response:

The rainbow affect is all around the light with violet (or blue) closest to the flame.

Common Misconceptions:

That white light is not made of colors so there is no connection to the colors being part of white light. 

That the order of rainbow colors are related to wavelengths and always appear in a predicable order based on the wavelength. 

That blue wavelengths are shorter and slower and will bend first and most, followed by green, yellow, orange and then red all based on wavelength and speed.

Finally, that rainbows only happen outside with clouds and rain, and that rainbows are in the shape of an arch.

Photographs and Movies

What you will see with the glasses

Here's a video of what it looks like:


Diffraction explained by Department of Physics, Southern Methodist University

White Light and Electromagnetic Spectrum explained by NASA