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Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activity: Rainbow Finder II

Make a simplified Rainbow Finder from paper plate Rainbows.

pvu_aide.jpg (27499 bytes) Make a rainbow by spinning a plate on a turntable while holding a colored marker on the plate, as shown in the Rainbow Turntable activity.

pvu_ovhd.jpg (32189 bytes) From the outer edge the colors are remembered by the mnemonic aid "Roy G. Biv," which stands for the colors red, orange, yellow green, blue, indigo, and violet.

pvu_bows.jpg (179158 bytes) When completed, the bows can be folded into free-standing designs.

Outside on a sunny day, ask the children in which direction they should look to see a rainbow, if it were raining at that moment.  Reinforce that it is dangerous to look directly at the sun, for eye damage may result.  

 pvu_hosebowing.jpg (152324 bytes) With a garden hose, spray a fine mist first toward the direction of the sun while the children stand behind you.  Slowly sweep the mist around in a large circle, continuously asking them to call out when they spot the rainbow.  The rainbow should appear when their backs are to the sun.  Note how rainbow finding is an eye-friendly activity, for the colorful arcs are opposite the harmful rays of the sun. 

 pvu_sightingshadow.jpg (38857 bytes) pvu_shadowarrow.jpg (59824 bytes)To find the rainbow using the Rainbow Turntable plates, look down along the trough of the plate at the crease.  Position it so you see the shadow of your head at the other end.

pvu_sighting.jpg (43742 bytes) pvu_sightingarrows.jpg (75943 bytes)When you see your head's shadow in the trough, without moving the plate look up between the V of the two plate halves for the rainbow.

pvu_hosebow_3.jpg (71683 bytes) pvu_bowfinders.jpg (45374 bytes) Rainbow found!

Notice how a low sun produces a high rainbow, and vice versa.  The largest bows are at sunrise and sunset, while midday the rainbow may appear so low it is in the foreground, below the horizon.

Future Presidents 

Contributed by Chuck Bueter.

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Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.