Exhibits | Color and Light

Gallery 1 contains a number of great exhibits on visible and invisible color. The room is a whirling kaleidoscope of light color and modern technology. This exhibit, constructed by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, offers amazing lifelike holograms, light split into a rainbow of colors and the physics of reflection. The exhibit is extremely pleasing to the eye with its sophisticated design and colorful displays. Visitors can fit the pieces to fill their needs.

Block Out

This exhibit uses a series of mirrors to create a reflection that actually looks like a three dimensional object. When your kids try to pick it up, there is nothing there. It is all an illusion created by reflected light, that makes the object they are trying to pick up appear to float in the air, ready for their "picking."Not really!

Cheek to Cheek

This exhibit shows what happens when mirrors change the angle of light that if reflected between them.

Color on Color

Your kids will see what happens when colored lights actually overlap. The exhibit has visitors use a number of differently colored filters to produce completely different colors of light. Red and green filters produce yellow light while red and blue filters produce magenta. The exhibit has lots of information on why each color is produced and how.

Color Shadows

See how many different colors you can make by simply placing your hands under a series of red, green and blue bright lights. When your hand blocks one color, the other two colors merge together to form a completely different color.

Holograms on Parade

We see holograms on Star Trek and other science programs all the time but rarely do we see one in real life. Now you can. This exhibit shows that holograms are made form lasers, photographic quality film and special lighting. The holograms in this exhibit are examples of a reflection hologram.

Instant Lightning

Have your kids move a lever on this exhibit to make sparks jump through the air. This exhibit teaches us that the air we breathe is composed of mostly nitrogen and oxygen atoms. The purple sparks are caused by the electric current in the exhibit stimulates the electrons in the atoms of these two elements in "regular air".

Invisible Strings

This exhibit uses the invisible part of the light spectrum, infrared light, to create music. Have your kids run the their hands and arms inside what looks like an empty frame. Instantly musical tones, from high to low, erupt from the speakers on the exhibit. Infrared light is reflected from the top of the frame to the bottom. As little hands and arms block the invisible beams of light, the computer inside the exhibit makes a sound that corresponds to the beam that was interrupted.

Light Within
A Light

This exhibit uses a coated light tube and an uncoated one. It shows how fluorescent light is created and is so different from the light produced by an ordinary light bulb. The phosphor coating on one of the tubes takes the mercury gas that is inside both tubes and causes the gas to actually glow.

Look at Lights & Rainbow Glasses

The two dark tubes may look alike when turned off but when they have electricity flowing through them, the gasses inside them are stimulated. Each tube contains a different gas, and each gas produces a different color. Neon emits red gas and Argon emits a bluish light. Look at them in rainbow glasses and you can see how even that light is separated into all the colors of the rainbow.

Now You See It

This very simple exhibit shows that black is not a color. Black is simply the absence of light. This exhibit uses a box with the inside painted a dazzling white to produce a profound black. Kids learn that black is simply the absence of white light.

Mouse Multiplier

This exhibit shows that the angle that light hits mirrors determines how many images are produced. Kids can adjust mirrors while looking at a tiny stationary mouse model. As they move the mirrors around they see the number of mice grow from two to three to four to more. This is because the smaller the angle between the two mirrors being moved is, the more light will bounce back and forth before reaching their eyes. The more the light bounces, the more images your family will see.


Visitors can look through and move a periscope 180 degrees in all directions.

Refraction in Action

Have your kids drastically change the direction of a beam of light by using a series of lenses. They will quickly see that the lenses actually bend the light beams. Even more interestingly, they will see that some lenses can make the beams of light collapse upon each other and the other lens will scatter the beams of light to the four winds. This exhibit introduces kids to a word they will learn in textbook science ?refraction.

The Rainbow Effect & Rainbow Glasses

Kids know that light looks white. But these exhibits show them that when light is split by a prism that it fans out like a peacock spreading its feathers. We can this light dispersion in scientific terms. The rainbow that visitors see is simply the visible color spectrum that makes up ordinary light.

Spinning Light Discs

We can take several different colors on a disk and tell that they are just that. But what happens when we spin the disk, faster and faster. Right before your eyes the colors on the disk merge and become another color completely. The colors on the disk absorb and reflect different wavelengths of light, when combined, the light that is reflected is a combination of the absorbed light on both colors on the disk. 

What's in a
Light Bulb?

You kids will see that when you turning a knob on this exhibit, they can control the amount of light put out by a bulb. The exhibit vividly illustrates how the electricity that flows through a filament of light causes it to become incandescent. The degree of incandescence is controlled by the amount of electricity that flows through the filament that in turn is a function of how the visitor turns the knob on the exhibit.

31 SW Memorial Parkway

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548


Museum Hours:

Wednesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sunday-Tuesday: Closed

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