Makers Club - Color Lesson 3 – 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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In this lesson, students will build on the use of the color sensor by calculating the RGB values for various materials and learning more about how rays are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted.





Explore how colors identify objects



Deepen student understanding of RGB values in living and non-living systems


How a color sensor detects RGB value



Understand how waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials



- Review lesson components for 5E (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) and student grouping
- Read the resources yourself, and make sure you understand the basics of reflection, absorption, wavelength, and RGB values
- Review grade-level standards related to electromagnetic radiation, wavelength, frequency, and how animals receive different types of information through their senses
- Review the slide deck and the graphic organizer


Teacher-led Discussion (5 minutes)

Students will explore how colors help identify objects. Use slides 2-11 in the slide deck to display the images and review the correct answers. Students should record their guesses on the graphic organizer.

Students are asked to guess the object on the slide:

  1. Zoomed in image of the Piper battery (only see the bright green)
  2. Zoomed in image of the star on the American Flag (only see a few pixelated stars)
  3. Blurry image of a Lakers jersey (pixelated golden yellow with some purple accents)
  4. Blurry image of Mickey Mouse (you can see the outline)
  5. Blurry image of McDonald’s logo (one very pixelated arch)

Have students share their responses to the guiding questions:

- How did the colors help?

- Could you identify any iconic shapes?


Explore: Color Sensing (30-40 minutes)

Students will use the color sensor to explore the RGB values of objects in their classroom.

Use the steps outlined in slides 12-13 to show students how to set up their sensor and locate the RGB data detected from the sensor in PiperCode.

Once students have set up their sensors and have located their RGB data, have the class guess the RGB values for the Piper Computer battery (should be green). This will allow you to demonstrate. Have students complete the table on their graphic organizer as they use their color sensor to measure colors around the room.


Explain (10-15 Minutes)

Have students share the RGB values for their chosen objects and their original guesses.

Use slides 14-15 to review the process for detecting colors. The slides refer to the roles wavelength and frequency play in the detection of color. Students are reminded of the process from Lesson 2’s StoryMode: Chameleon Giant.


The global impact of one color: International Orange (5-7 Minutes)

Students can explore the history of the color orange by reading this article or watching this video. Have them write a reflection in their journals.


Closing/Reflection Activity (10-15 Minutes)

Have students respond to these writing prompts:

  1. How do cultures identify with colors?
  2. What are some memories you have tied to colors?

Have students complete this summative assessment on colors and their RGB values.