The Exploratorium is a 21st-century learning laboratory and museum based in San Francisco. Since 1969, we’ve offered visitors and learners around the world the opportunity to experience everyday scientific phenomena firsthand through creative, thought-provoking exhibits, educational tools, and programs. We promote an inquiry-based approach to learning—one that ignites curiosity about the world around us, encourages exploration, and leads to profound discoveries.
The science "snacks" on this website are fun, hands-on activities developed and thoroughly tested by the Exploratorium Teacher Institute. Dive in and discover what we're all about!
Light: it’s a particle, it’s a wave, it’s all that our eyes can detect. In these hands-on activities, you’ll explore phenomena related to light, color, and human perception. Blow your mind creating multicolored shadows and more.
Are shadows always black, or can they take on the colors of the rainbow?
In this hands-on science snack, which was developed and demonstrated by Exploratorium Senior Scientist Paul Doherty, you’ll have fun with colored lightbulbs, experiment with additive color mixtures, and learn about human color perception.
Watch the videos, build your own colored shadows, and see how exciting light and shadow can be.