Make a Rainbow using one of the Properties of Water


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I have always loved rain. I love the sound of rain as it hits the roof. I love the smell of rain, and how it refreshes the air. But most of all, I love the rainbow that comes after the rain. My middle son also loves rainbows, so I wanted to create a simple preschool science experiment he could do with me. A couple of years ago, I made an American flag with my oldest using the properties of water, and I decided the same method would be great to create a rainbow!

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Using one of the Properties of Water to Make a Rainbow

When my son and I made the American flag, we cut separate strips of paper to create the red strips and blue rectangle. But since a rainbow is the color spectrum of light, we could use the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) to make the other colors of the rainbow (orange, green, indigo). All we needed to do was allow the primary colors to blend with each other!

Rainbow Properties of Water Experiment

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Supplies:

Steps:

Step 1: Fill each jar with water.

Step 2: Pour 10 drops of red in one jar of water, 10 drops of yellow in another jar of water, 10 drops of blue in another jar of water, and 5 drops of blue and 5 drops of red in the last jar of water.

Step 3: Measure the paper towel lengthwise, and draw six (6) evenly spaced vertical lines.

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Step 4: Draw down each line using the wax stick or white crayon.

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Step 5: Cut a quarter of the way down each line from step 4. Bend back the second, fourth, and sixth sections.

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Step 6: Place the jars of water from step 2 on a baking sheet.

Step 7: At the same time, place the first section of the paper towel into the red colored water jar, the third section into the yellow water, the fifth section into the blue water, and the seventh section into the purple water.

Step 8th: Watch as the water travels down the paper towel.

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Step 9: Once the water has traveled all the way down, remove the paper towel from the jars. Lay the paper towel flat on the cookie sheet to dry.

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Step 10: Once dry, you’ll have a beautiful rainbow, just like the ones after a rain!

Rainbow STEAM activity using the properties of water!

Printable of American Flag Experiment

Make an american flag using water science experiments

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Which Property of Water is being used?

As I explained in our experiment when we made an American Flag, this experiment shows capillary action in action! The water travels through the paper towel for two reasons. First, all paper is made of a sugar molecule call cellulose. Water is highly attracted to cellulose and wants to bond (or stick) to it. Second, the cellulose fibers in a paper towel are made with spaces between them. Since water likes to stick together, the water fills these spaces as it follows the water attracted to the cellulose. More spaces allow more water to be absorbed.

Looking for more Rainbow STEM Activities? Try some of these!

Rainbow Crayon – a Crayon Melting Point Experiment
Rainbow Shamrock Salt Painting Art Project
Rainbow Rainy Day Art STEAM Project for Kids
Rainbow Science for Kids: Homemade Spectroscope
Rainbow Science for Kids: Exploring Prisms
Book Inspired Rainbow Science STEAM Activities for Kids
St. Patrick’s Day STEM / STEAM Activity
Learning About Rainbows with Roy G Biv the Leprechaun!
Rainbow baking soda science experiment for kids
Make a Skittles Rainbow
Grow your own Crystal Rainbow!
Skittles density rainbow
Make Rainbows using CD

Or try more STEM Activities and Experiments by me!

Make an American Flag Using Water Science Experiments
Appearing Snowflakes
Painting Pumpkins with Paintballs
Paintball Forces
Making the Layers of the Ocean-A Density Activity

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