Exploring Prism Play, A STEAM KIDS Project

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We were so excited to receive our new STEAM KIDS book the other day.  My Wee Warhols student “M” and I wanted to try out Buggy And Buddy’s Prism Play project right away.  I got out my three different size triangular prisms for us to explore.

M’s first question was, “What is that?”  Good question.  We talked about a prism as a shape.   In geometry, a triangular prism is a three-sided prism; it is a polyhedron made of a triangular base, a translated copy, and 3 faces joining corresponding sides. A right triangular prism has rectangular sides, otherwise it is oblique. -Wikipedia  All of those words seem to complicate things for a 3.5 year old, so we felt the prisms, exploring all the sides that create the form, getting to know the shape.

Reading the book, I explained to M that “Prisms cause light to refract and each wavelength of light bends at a different angle, separating the light into a spectrum of color.” – Chelsey Marashian

We placed the prisms on lined paper and observed how the lines appeared differently when viewing them under the prisms.

This was cool, but when I explained to M that we could make a rainbow, none of this other stuff seemed to matter any longer.  We NEEDED TO MAKE A RAINBOW!!!

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We placed the prism on white paper and played around with it until we saw a rainbow.  I asked M if she wanted to trace the rainbow.

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Tracing the Rainbow

I decided we should get out some Geometric Solids and explore what happened when the light passed through them.  We placed them out on the paper.  M traced the colored light that was created.

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tracing the colored shapes

We noticed that as time passed and the sun shifted the shapes and the intensity changed as well.  M went home, but I continued to record the changes (whenever I remembered to).


M and I also read Light , My First Discoveries book.  This is a good resource when talking about many aspects of light.

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If you haven’t gotten your copy of STEAM KIDS , you should.  It is filled with fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) projects that will make your child question, explore, and create.

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If you are interested in downloading the STEAM KIDS ebook Click HERE.

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