How Colors are Made

Discover How Colors Are Made Science Experiment

For the experiment today we are going to discover how colors are made by conducting a simple science experiment using markers. The colors used were Blue, Green, Orange and Black. Any colors can be used.

How Colors are Made Science Experiment Video


Discover How Colors are Made Science Experiment

Supplies Needed

  • Different Colored Markers (We used Blue, Green, Orange and Black)
  • Coffee Filter (You can also use Blotting Paper)
  • Small Drinking Glass
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Water

Experiment Instructions

How Colors are Made Experiment - Step 1

Step 1 – Begin the experiment by preparing your coffee filter. Do that by first folding it in half.

How Colors are Made Experiment - Step 2

Step 2 – Next, use the markers to draw and color in circles of different colors on the coffee filters. The circles should be an inch apart and near the center of the coffee filter.

Helpful Tip: One use 4 colors max per coffee filter. If you want to experiment with more than 4 colors then use multiple coffee filters.

How Colors are Made Experiment - Step 3

Step 3 – Pour one inch of water into an empty glass.

How Colors are Made Experiment - Step 4

Step 4 – Add a teaspoon of salt into the glass and stir until it is combined.

How Colors are Made Experiment - Step 5

Step 5 – Shape the coffee filter into a cylinder and place into the glass. The bottom should just touch the water. Let the glass and coffee filter sit for 30 minutes to an hour and then come back to see what happened.

Discover How Colors Are Made Before and After

Step 6 – Wait 30 minutes to an hour and then return to look at the colors. Remove the coffee filter from the glass and set it flat on the table. Observe what has happened to the colored circles. You’ll notice how the colors have spread across the coffee filter and that some of them have changed from the original marker color

How Does the Experiment Work?

Over the course of the hour, the coffee filter gradually absorbs the water. Once the water gets to the colored circles, the colors start to spread up the coffee filter.

When a Primary Color (Red, Yellow, Blue) spreads it will stay the same color. When a Secondary Color (Green, Orange, Yellow) spreads it will change into the primary colors that were originally mixed to make the color. Because the color Black is created by mixing multiple colors together, when it spreads you will see a wide array of different colors.

I hope you enjoyed the experiment.  Here’s some printable instructions

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