The Story of the Atom: Unit 5 - The Color of Light

The Story of the Atom: Unit 5 - The Color of Light


Schedule: This is a Self-Paced Course
Grade Span: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

  • About This Course

    The first of two courses in QC’s Atomic Physic Series springs out of the key, unexplained observables on the color of light, which eventually led, unbeknownst to the original scientists pursuing these explanations, to the birth of quantum physics. The central theme centers around back-and-forth explorations of water waves and light. While students see undeniable parallels, which suggest light has a wave-like nature, there is no analogous phenomenon of color in water waves. By building models and continuing to probe the behavior of light, students land on a remarkable discovery that light color is underpinned by a very simple quantitative property!

  • Prerequisites

    • Solving for one unknown in an algebraic equation. Ideally, students should have taken or be currently enrolled in pre-algebra or algebra. 

    • Proficiency with graphing. Students can determine a scale for coordinate axes and properly draw and label axes

    • Familiarity with the scientific method and the ability to design simple experiments

    • Ability to collect and record data

    • Ability to maintain an orderly and safe space for small lab experiments.

  • How a Self-Paced Course Works

    Students advance through a series of really interesting labs. Each lab goes like this:


    • Kid takes materials out of a box 

    • Kid watches a 3-minute video

    • Kid runs a 10-30-minute lab. (Kid is pumped up!)

    • Kid does a lab write-up and a little problem set for quick feedback 

    • Kid notches a win, has brand new knowledge, and moves to the next lab! 


    In addition, there are bonus videos and readings and even a problem set designed to deepen an intuitive understanding of the topics.