Makers Club - Color Lesson 2 – Piper


Lesson Time:
45 to 60 minutes



Sensors connected to the Piper Computer Kit provide students with educational hands-on experience that integrates environmental sensory data with unparalleled coding and story adventures.

The Sensor Explorer projects and lessons feature three sensors that you wire up to the Piper Computer. Students will then be guided through character-driven story narratives while using game-like StoryMode to learn how decisions impact final outcomes within three unique StoryMode world puzzles and problems. Coupled with the game experience in StoryMode, students will have fun extending their coding skills using PiperCode while collecting real-world data using the 3 sensors.

This lesson will engage students' prior knowledge about connections between wavelength, frequency, and electromagnetic waves. They will form groups to explore the various types of waves and report findings related to frequency and wavelength of their waveform. Using a master drawing of the electromagnetic spectrum, students will explore how human eyes perceive color in the visible light spectrum and how our atmosphere affects waves.





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This lesson deepens science disciplinary knowledge associated with waveforms. Students will explore visible light, how light enters our atmosphere, and deepen their understanding of how color is detected in the human eye by playing StoryMode.





Develop an understanding of how ultraviolet light of the EM spectrum from the sun is detected in biological systems



Understand how UV light is processed into electrical signals in the human eye


Understand RGB values in living and non-living systems



Students will model and explore how human eyes perceive color in the visible part of the EM spectrum by playing Piper StoryMode Chameleon Giant



- Review lesson components for 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) and student grouping
- Read the resources yourself, and make sure you understand rod, cones, and RGB values in the UV part of the spectrum
- Review grade-level standards related to electromagnetic radiation, wavelength, frequency, and how animals receive different types of information through their senses
- Make sure Piper battery packs are charged before use
- Review the slide deck 2 and the graphic organizer


Teacher-led Discussion (5 minutes)

Provide students with a paper or digital version of the Graphic Organizer. They will be guided through an exploration of the UV rays emitted by the Sun.

Have students read the following or explain this to students:

“How we perceive color depends on more than wavelength and frequency. There is a biological process that allows us to see the visible light spectrum. We will explore this today."

Use slides 2-6 in the Lesson 2 Slide Deck to review with the class.

Note: Properties of waves (wavelength and frequency) were explored during Lesson 1.


Play StoryMode Level: Chameleon Giant (30-40 minutes)

Before they begin, show students slides 7-8 to prepare students for their exploration in StoryMode. Students may work in groups of 2-3 for this exploration. Have students record their notes on this graphic organizer as they play.​


Explain (10-15 Minutes)

Have students share their observations from the exploration.

Use slides 9-15 to review their observations from Chameleon Giant. The slides guide students through the color vision model and relate it to the actual human eye.


Photoreceptors in other animals (5-7 Minutes)

Have students read the following or explain it to them:

“The ability to perceive color is a biological necessity. We connect colors with different feelings and behaviors. Imagine coming up to a stop sign. What do you immediately want to do? Similar to humans, other animals also perceive color. Butterflies, for example, perceive color through their 5 cones. They have the ability to perceive UV rays. This helps them identify other butterflies. Bees also can detect UV rays. This helps them identify flowers with specific patterns on their petals. Pollenation depends on them!”

[Optional]: students can read this fun article on the Mantis Shrimp and write a reflection in their journals.


Closing/Reflection Activity (10-15 Minutes)

Have students respond to these writing prompts:

  • What colors do you tie to specific emotions or actions?

  • How have the emotions and actions tied to specific colors changed over the course of human history?

Have students complete this summative assessment of the lesson contents.