Mixing Primary Colors

Mixing Primary Colors

Launch Tool

This is an interactive activity that demonstrates how to mix colors with light and with paints or dyes. You can switch between mixing colors using light and mixing colors using paint. This resource also provides a brief tutorial that discusses the differences between the two methods and introduces the idea that there are actually two sets of primary colors.

Going Further

For Educators

This resource can be used to help dispel some common student misconceptions about color and light. Some students may believe that the rules for mixing color paints and crayons are the same as the rules for mixing colored lights. Students may also believe that the different colors appearing in colored pictures printed in magazines and newspapers are produced by using different inks with all the corresponding colors. Therefore, before students explore the resource, you may want to illicit student ideas about color mixing in order to identify any such misconceptions.

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Tool Details

Grades Themes Type Project 2061 Benchmarks

Tips + Modifications

  • I used this interactive as part of a blended learning activity with my students. We paired it with flashlights and colored films. The interactive helps clean up any issues we face with "real world" objects and kids are fascinated that this is how their electronics create colors.
    - Bonnie S.