Be a Light Bender

On Nov. 18, 2016, to celebrate Young Readers League and its 2016 selection of Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley, we had a science program called “Be a Light Bender!” We had a jam-packed hour of activities exploring the physics of light and color. We did demonstrations of various phenomena, like the phosphors in a highlighter pen’s ink getting excited by the ultraviolet light from a black light, and a demonstration of why the sunset looks red (the light has to travel farther through the atmosphere). We experimented with color filters and then used our knowledge to create secret messages for others to decode. We used CD spectroscopes to analyze various different light bulbs. We examined the way shadows change color when you shine colored lights on an object.

We didn’t have time for the last experiment I planned, a demonstration of the inverse square law of light, but it is included in my slides. (Please note: when I upload my slides to slideshare a few of the fonts get distorted).

Here are the worksheets the kids used to record their observations:

cd-spectroscope-observations

colored-shadows-observations

inverse-square-law-observations

secret-messages-and-color-filters

For more information about children’s programs call 626-744-4066 option 4.

AnnMarie Kolakowski

I'm a youth services librarian working in the Children's Room at the Pasadena Central Library. I purchase juvenile nonfiction books for all sites, juvenile Spanish books for all sites, and juvenile DVDs for the Central Library. I do a lot of programs with school-age kids, including Lucha Libros, writing workshops, and STEAM/science programs. I also do 16 weeks of Infant/Toddler Storytimes each year. I love what I do, working with kids of all ages to inspire them to learn and use their curiosity and imaginations. Outside of my work at the library, I am also the author of a book on creative writing activities for kids.

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