Help Build Science Skills: After Images

This activity teaches children about the phenomenon of "continuity of vision" in which the eye continues to see an image of an object even after the object has been removed. Encourage children to construct other images that depend on strong contrasting colors and ask them how the afterimage changes.

What this activity will develop:
Science and art skills

What you'll need:
• Flat white box with lid
• Black paper
• Scissors
• Glue
• Drawing paper
• Markers

What to do:
1. Cut the black paper to fit inside the box bottom. Glue the paper in place.

2. Draw a simple picture on the drawing paper. Use bright colors.

3. Cut out the picture, and lay it on the black paper.

4. Put the box and lid side by side.

Use:
1. Stare at the picture for at least 30 seconds.

2. Then stare at the white space in the box lid. What do you see?

3. Try looking at a yellow shape on the black paper. Is the after- image violet? Violet is the complementary color of yellow. Try a red shape and a blue shape. What color are the afterimages?

4. Can you predict what you will see? Try making designs, such as the American flag, in colors that will make the afterimage look like the real thing.

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