Seeing a rainbow feels magical and mystical. Whether you run off in search of a pot of gold, or simply enjoy the beauty, a rainbow is special occasion. But not all rainbows are in the sky – they can be found in sprays of water or in arcs around the sun. With this science activity for elementary school students, you can make a rainbow appear on a sunny day in your classroom or home!
What you need:
A glass of water (about three quarters full)
A sunny day
What you do:
Find a window with sunlight streaming through it.
Hold the glass of water in sun beams and over the piece of paper.
Watch as the sunlight refracts (bends) and forms a rainbow of colors on your sheet of paper.
Try to identify the seven colors of the rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
Try holding the glass of water at different heights and angles. Can you change the shape of the rainbow? What happens if you use colored paper?