Consumers Energy grant helps sixth graders learn about the chemistry of colors

Consumers Energy grant helps sixth graders learn about the chemistry of colors

Mar 15, 2002

A handful of M&Ms, a little salt water and a test tube added up to a deeper understanding of the visible color spectrum for sixth graders at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Blanc March 8.

A handful of M&Ms, a little salt water and a test tube added up to a deeper understanding of the visible color spectrum for sixth graders at Holy Family Catholic Church in Grand Blanc March 8. Dr. Stacy Seeley, assistant professor of Chemistry at Kettering, and John Maksimchuk, a junior majoring in Chemistry, introduced students to the "Chemistry of Color" by having them remove the color coating of M&Ms by scraping with a wet toothpick, applying the dye mixture to a piece of chromatography paper, and then inserting the paper into a test tube that contained a salt water solution.

As the paper soaked up the salt water solution, the dyes would separate into their primary colors.

Students also learned about ultraviolet light and its damaging uv rays. Seeley had the students make their own uv-detecting bracelets using ultraviolet sensitive beads and rawhide rope. The children placed them under an ultraviolet light source and watched them change colors.

"Chemistry of Color" is part of a series of hands-on science programs developed by Seeley to generate student interest in scientific careers.

The series is sponsored by a $ 2500 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation.