Way To Glow

based on 13 ratings
Type (Physical Science, Earth Science, Life Science, Social Science, Mathematics and Computer Science, Engineering, Other)

Physical Science

Grade Level (Elementary, Middle, High School)

Middle-High School

Difficulty of Project (Easy, Medium, Hard)

Medium Cost

Approximate Cost

Varies, less than $100 for powders and paints. If you're on a budget, be sure to ask for samples or buy the value packs!

Safety Issues

All materials, although non-toxic, are not edible. Please do not get of the materials into your eyes. Immediately flush out with water if eye-contact is made and seek medical attention.

Material Availability


Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project (hours, days, weeks)

About 3-5 days, with research time and write-ups included.


  • What is the project about? Students will investigate the illumination durations and intensities of different luminous substances of different colors of the spectrum.
  • What are the goals? As a result, students will gain knowledge (and have FUN while doing it) as well as know what and why a certain color has a longer glow time/glows brighter than others through experimentation and research.

Materials and Equipment / Ingredients

What materials are required?
  • Glow powders in the colors of the spectrum- red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, violet, white
  • Glow paints in the colors of the spectrum- red, orange, yellow, green, aqua, blue, violet, white
    • (Please note that for the glow-product, experimenters are required to know what it is made of; if this is not on the label, please ask the manufacturer or retailer for this information)
  • Labels and Jars for all substances and colors
  • A bright light source such as a florescent lamp
  • A very dark room
  • Video camera with timer to record progression (a tripod is highly recommended)
Where can the materials be found?

Glow powders and paints can be obtained at a local craft store, specialty stores, or on the internet. They may be costly if you buy separately. The best way to get around this if you're on a budget is to buy in value packs or ask for samples. Labels and Jars can be found at a general store or a drug store as baby food jars are a very popular,”green”, and economical choice for projects. Many households already contain bright light sources, but these lamps can be alternatively obtained at hardware stores. Video cameras can be bought at electronic stores.


Background information

Everyone enjoys a little light in their life. Kids are especially fascinated with the eerie, ethereal glow that is given off by luminous substances. They're fascinated with the fact that it can produce such a special light with no batteries or electricity. Green is without a doubt the most popular glowing color we have today and it is with a reason. But why?

It is a fact that different substances make these different colors. Each of these substances have their own chemical compositions that can absorb more or less light. This causes a difference in wavelengths, glow intensity, and glow duration.

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