What are colors that make black? A kindergarten science fair project.

So what are colors? What makes them work? We won't go into details here, but colors are simply the way light reacts to certain surfaces. Red things reflect red light. Blue things reflect blue light. Now...

Here's a great question...

...what makes black? Black seems like it wouldn't have much to it since it's...well...black!

So what are colors and what can we do with them here? Let's find out...

Time - You could probably do this one in one weekend.

Stuff List

You'll need...

1. Coffee filters
2. Markers
3. Water
4. Eye dropper or spoon
5. Sink or towel
6. Camera
7. Writing paper and pencil
8. Graphing paper
9. Timer
10. Cardboard and supplies for display (three sided)


Questions are always important in science. We asked a question at the beginning...

"What are colors?"

But we need to talk about colors a little bit more. So...

...let's ask some more questions about colors.

Here are some great questions to get you started. These aren't the most important question, though. We'll ask that one later.

See if you can add to this list for this science fair project to help answer the question what are colors.

Where do you find colors? Where do you think all the different colors come from? What happens if you mix red and blue together? (Go ahead and try it with markers if you want!)What happens if you mix blue and yellow together? (Go ahead and try it with markers if you want!)

Try to answer these as best you can.


We ask the most important question...

What colors make black?

This is a good question because we can try it out. But don't try it yet. We need to answer our important question first!

Let's do that now.

What do you think will happen?

Write it down on a piece of paper. Don't change it until after you see how our experiment goes.

Now it's time to get your stuff from the list above. Let's move to the next step.


Now comes the fun part...

...let's figure out what colors make black and see if that helps us understand what are colors.

First, we need to take a coffee filter and flatten it. Now we take our black marker and color a nice, big black dot on it like this...

Coffee filter

Next, take your eye dropper (a spoon will do if you don't have an eye dropper) and put three to five drops of water on the black dot that you put on the coffee filter. Pick up the filter and hold it over the sink for about thirty (30) seconds. Make sure not to drip any on your clothes. It might stain them! You should come out with something like this...

Kindergarten messy!

You will need to do this several more times with different coffee filters to make sure it works correctly. Write what you find on a piece of paper so you don't forget! And don't forget to take lot's of pictures. They show you did your own work.



...let's make a report!

It's time to tell what you've noticed. Write a report about what you saw with your colored dot experiment.

You should include...

1. What you guessed about the color.
2. What you did with the color.
3. What colors you discovered.
4. If your guess was correct about the colored dot.

Be careful to obey all the school rules for your science fair project report. Three or four sentences will do if you weren't given how long it should be.

Your report may look something like this...



Now you get to make the display!

Carefully put three pieces of cardboard together so it looks like this...


If you want more information about displays click here.

You can buy displays at many retail stores as well. However you do it, make sure you follow science fair rules!

Now, on a piece of paper neatly write your important question and your guess. If you would like, type it on a computer. You might get style points!

Now, just like you did your important question, write (or type) your supply list on a separate piece of paper.

Paste your guess, supply list and report onto your display board along with any pictures you might have taken. Make sure you label each so the judges know what is what. Making sure everything looks good is important!

If you want to get some ideas for your display we have some examples for you. Just click here for examples of displays that will work well with science fair projects.

Try playing with some of the display ideas you see. You don't have to use the exact ones we use. Make them fun! Be creative!

And don't forget to name your project at the top of the display board. You may want to use your important question as the title. You may want to purchase stencils to make cutouts of letters for this. Or you may purchase already made letters at many retail stores.

Now, did we help answer what are colors? We found some, like black, are a combination of more than one. Try this experiment again, just this time, use something other than black.

What are colors?

They're a lot of fun!

Have fun! Be safe!

What are colors? If you've learned something, click here to find more great experiments.
Click here to go to the homepage!

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