Learning Across the Spectrum



This Is Color was a part of NPR’s series entitled Color Decoded: Stories that Span the Spectrum.  NPR developed a really cool application that tells an interesting story about the science and history of visual spectrum. You can watch the app with our without some cute, kitschy music- if you are into that sort of thing*. The music really adds to the ambiance of the old-school, film projector feel of the app.

Some of My Favorite Facts:

  • It’s commonly believed that red capes make bulls angry. But actually, bulls are colorblind — and cannot see the color red at all! It’s the movement of the cape that provokes the bull, and the cape is red to camouflage bloodstains.
  • In the early 20th century, chaos reigned when it came to school bus colors. They were green, blue and even white. Then, in 1939, an education professor organized a conference to set the first school bus safety standards. There, he proposed 50 shades of yellow, which were eventually narrowed down to the cheerful hue we see today.
  • Only 1 out of every 6 Americans has blue eyes, and 1 out of every 2 Americans will tell you that blue eyes are the prettiest, The New York Times reports. In fact, half of all tinted contact lenses sold are designed to make brown eyes look blue.

Resources for the Classroom:

Wonderopolis: Why Do Rainbows Appear?

Make Your Own Rainbow

Reeko ScienceThings_Aren’t_Always_as_They_Appear (PDF)

TedEd: Light Waves, Visible and Invisible


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