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Color Contrast

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    The Exploratorium

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Color Contrast

Do you have a hard time matching paint swatches with your furniture? When you consider human perception, color is context dependent. In this Exploratorium produced activity, you will see how you perception of color changes depending on the color's background.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Scissors
  • Construction or origami paper in yellow, purple, green, blue (two shades), and orange (two shades); select pieces of paper that are the same size
  • Glue
  • Paint-sample cards (from paint or hardware stores) that show gradations of one color


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Vision
      • Perception
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access




User Lists

This resource is part of these lists:

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