(Article written by Kerri Watson, Upper School Environmental Science Teacher)
Senior Environmental Science students visited the kindergarten classes in the science lab to teach them about primary and secondary colors. The giants taught them that primary colors (red, yellow, and blue) are the “first” colors and when we mix them, we can make secondary colors (orange, green, and purple) as they are the “next” colors.
Kindergarteners learned new vocabulary as well as encountered a surprise reaction in the process. Beforehand, baking soda solutions and vinegar solutions of red, blue, and yellow colored water were made. Kindergarteners hypothesized what “next” color would be made mixing two “first” colors. Because of the baking soda and vinegar, the resulting reaction created the secondary colored foam. We made a mess, but it was fun.
We made a surprise discovery, too. When we mixed the two solutions in a graduated cylinder, the differing densities created a color layer in the cylinder. That was pretty cool to observe and discuss.
Yet the kindergarteners didn’t want to stop there! They wanted to investigate what might happen if we mixed all the colors. Hypotheses for the resulting color were black, brown, and maybe even a rainbow! We tried to make a rainbow colored density stack in the cylinder but it didn’t quite work out. So a white bucket was used to pour in the remaining color solutions which resulted in a bubbly dark brown that we all agreed looked like Coca-Cola.
After a round of questions and answers from the kindergarteners to the seniors, the lab concluded with collecting data of everyone’s favorite color. The kindergartners will take that data and use it for graphing analysis and discussion back in their classrooms.