03.03.2021

Space STEM Challenge #1: Build a Spectrometer!

STEM Empower Generations

Have you ever wondered why the world isn’t black-and-white? Or maybe why light “breaks” into rainbows through prisms? Well, here’s why: it’s because everything in the universe gives off radiation! As elements move from high-energy to low-energy states, they give off different frequencies of light. Our brains interpret these frequencies as colors.

This light does more than just brighten our world, though. It also helps us understand the entire universe! Color and light actually help astronomers determine what space objects are made of and how old things are. Who would have thought? A spectrum is the unique light signature created by every element. Astronomers analyze these light patterns to see which elements are most abundant in stars, planets, and moons.

Use this challenge to build your own simple spectrometer and analyze the light around you!

Space Challenge 1

Questions? Email jeanette.chadwick@empowergenerations.org.

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