Saturday, April 14, 2018

Resources ... In Color!

You have to have lived many summers to remember when "In Color" was appended to television show titles to distinguish them from humdrum black and white programs. Leslie Neilson spoofed the practice, along with everything relating to 1960s police dramas his Police Squad!.

I added color to my curriculum a few years ago. It began with writing a lab around PhET's "Color Vision" simulation coupled with pocket microscopes. The lab is called "Pixel Peeping" and it's a big eye-opener (!), especially when they look at the phosphors lighting up in yellow.

Next, I wrote an add-on activity called "Fun with Colors!" An interesting exploration of color mixing.

Then I saw this groovy video, and showed it in conjunction with the color activities. Biological pixels!

Science Friday: Where's the Octopus?


Then I saw this wee gem from Steve Mould, and thought to add it, too. How does your brain average red and blue when your green cone is silent?

The Royal Institution: Colour Mixing: The Mystery of Magenta


But I bristle at the notion of just showing a video or asking students to watch a video without having questions attached to ensure mental engagement. Otherwise, it's just watching TV. If it can't be done in class, it makes for great "YouTube homework."

So I put together some questions that could be answered while watching these brief clips.

Chromatophores and Trichromats

I had been using an iOS app to mix colors on my iPhone and iPad. But the app ecosystem is lively and active, so old apps die and new apps arise. An app developer named Insight currently offers an iOS app called Color Mixing. It has your standard color addition of primary colors (RGB) as well as color subtraction (CMY). It seems groovy, though I haven't tinkered with it much yet. I'm reluctant to develop an activity around such an app, since it may be gone tomorrow.

If you've got some groovy color stuff that works for you, post about it in the comments.

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