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Color Mixing

Source Institutions

    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Color Mixing

This is an online activity where learners can virtually mix different colors of light or paint (you can switch between them) and see how the colors combine. It demonstrates how millions of colors are created on computer monitors and TVs, and in art and printing. Learners can try to match a given target color ("Mix to Match"), or simply play around with mixtures ("Mix for Fun"). Background information explains how light is additive (more colors tends towards white), whereas paint absorbs color and is subtractive (more colors tends towards black). There's also information about how the human eye works.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Simulation


Materials List (per student)

  • Computer with internet access


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Photography and Film/Video


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • use mouse

Learning styles supported:

  • Links STEM to other topics of interest such as arts and humanities
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, OMSI, ©2002

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation


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