How do rainbows form?
Rainbows happen when sunlight and rain combine in a very specific way. The beams of sunlight separate into the colors we see in the rainbow as they enter a raindrop. Sunlight is actually made up of different colors that we don’t usually see. When a beam of sunlight comes down to Earth, the light is white. But, if the light beam happens to hit raindrops on the way down at a certain angle, the different colors that make up the beam separate so that we can see them — in the form of a rainbow.
This semester, our First Graders have been learning about Energy and different forms of Energy. This week, we focused on one form of energy which is Light Energy. We all know how important light is in our daily lives. We basically need it to see things. We also use light for taking pictures and videos with our cameras, phone, projectors and other gadgets. We build lighthouses to warn boats and ships that they are near shore. We have light towers to warn airplanes too. Light has more uses in our lives.
One of our class inquiries that came up was “What makes a rainbow?”
We answered this question by making our own rainbow! With our prisms in hand, we went outside on a sunny day. And by turning the prism around at a certain angle so that the sunbeam strikes it, we could make a rainbow appear on a white board!
“Isaac Newton is credited with being the first to show that white light is made up of all of the colors of the visible spectrum. He also showed that this light could be split into its different colours by a process called refraction. To refract light, he used a prism, but water can also be used to refract visible light. The product of refracting white light is a rainbow, just like the ones you see in the sky.”