A spectroscope is an instrument that measures the spectrum of light of objects. Create your own DIY spectroscope from a few simple supplies and make a rainbow from visible light. We love fun and do-able physics activities for kids!
HOW TO MAKE A SPECTROSCOPE
WHAT IS A SPECTROSCOPE?
A spectroscope or a spectrograph is a scientific instrument that is used to study the properties of light. It works by breaking light down into its different wavelengths, called a spectrum. It works similar to how a prism splits white light into a rainbow.
Astronomers use a spectroscope to to analyze the composition of a substance, such as a gas or a star, by looking at the specific colors that make up its spectrum.
It helps astronomers, and scientists study a wide variety of things like the composition of stars, planets, and galaxies, or the properties of gases, by looking at how the light is absorbed or emitted by the gas.
Find out how to make your own spectroscope below for a simple and fun physics experiment. Can you separate visible light into the colors of the rainbow? Let’s get started!
PHYSICS FOR KIDS
Physics is simply put, the study of matter and energy and the interaction between the two.
How did the Universe begin? You might not have the answer to that question! However, you can use fun and easy physics experiments to get your kids thinking, observing, questioning, and experimenting.
Let’s keep it simple for our junior scientists! Physics is all about energy and matter and the relationship they share with one another.
Like all sciences, physics is all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Keep in mind that some physics experiments can involve chemistry too!
Kids are great for questioning everything, and we want to encourage…
- critical thinking
- and more…..
With everyday budget friendly supplies, you can easily do awesome physics projects at home or on the classroom!
SCIENCE RESOURCES TO GET YOU STARTED
Here are a few resources that will help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.
- Scientific Method For Kids
- What Is A Scientist
- Science Terms
- Best Science and Engineering Practices
- Jr. Scientist Challenge Calendar (Free)
- BEST Science Books for Kids
- Must Have Science Tools
- Easy Kids Science Experiments
SAFETY NOTE: A couple of things should be cut/prepped ahead of time for safety if working with younger kiddos. Older kiddos may be able to help if you feel they have the ability to do so. Safety first!
- Toilet paper tube
- Black tape
- CD or DVD
- X-acto knife
- Black paper
STEP 1: Line the inside of the tube with the tape. Fold over the ends of the tape.
STEP 2: Use the end of the tube to trace two circles from the black paper. Cut them out.
STEP 3: Cut out a tiny slit in one of the circles.
STEP 4: Cut out a small window in the other circle.
STEP 5: Cut out a section of the DVD and then carefully peel it into two pieces. Cut and attach the
clear piece to your small black window using tape.
STEP 6: Attach the two circles to each end of your spectroscope.
STEP 7: Find a light source in your house and look through the window toward the slit and turn it until you see a rainbow!
What colors can you see in the spectrum of light? Does the brightness of the colors change with various light sources?
MORE FUN LIGHT ACTIVITIES
Make a color wheel spinner and demonstrate how you can make white light from different colors.
Explore light and refraction when you make rainbows using a variety of simple supplies.
Set up a simple mirror activity for preschool science.
Take the Stroop Test for a fun color science activity.
Learn more about the color wheel with our printable color wheel worksheets.
Try this simple water refraction experiment.
Explore the constellations in your own night sky with this fun constellation activity.
Make a DIY planetarium from simple supplies.
MAKE A DIY SPECTROSCOPE FOR STEM
Click on the image below or on the link for more awesome and easy STEM projects for kids.