Science project

Which Color Absorbs the Most Heat?


  • Sunny day
  • Five pieces of construction paper in different colors: white, red, green, blue, and black
  • Tape
  • Five thermometers
  • Timer or clock or watch with alarm
  • Piece of lined or graph paper and a pencil


  1. Fold each piece of construction paper in half the long way.
  2. Tape the long end and one short end completely shut so that the pieces of paper make skinny pockets.
  3. Make a graph on a sheet of lined paper. Along the left, make a column listing the construction paper by color (white, red, green, blue, black). Along the top, make a row of numbered column headings, 0-10.
  4. Make sure all of the thermometers read the same temperature and write this starting temperature in the “0” column next to each color on your table.
  5. Put one thermometer inside each pocket. Then take everything outside and set the pockets down next to each other in the sun.
  6. Every 10 minutes, peek at each thermometer and write down the temperature on your chart. Do this 10 times.
  7. Now look at your observations. Did all of the thermometers heat up at the same pace, or did some heat up faster and others slower? Did they end up being the same temperature at the end, or different temperatures?


Different colors reflect and absorb the sun’s energy differently. Dark colors absorb more radiated heat from the sunlight while lighter colors reflect it. That's why wearing a black shirt on a sunny day makes you feel so much hotter than when you're wearing a white shirt!

Terms/Concepts: absorption, reflection, solar radiation

Disclaimer and Safety Precautions provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational purposes only. does not make any guarantee or representation regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and renounce any claims against that arise thereof. In addition, your access to's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by's Privacy Policy and site Terms of Use, which include limitations on's liability.

Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Add to collection

Create new collection

Create new collection

New Collection


New Collection>

0 items