Review by Christy Matte, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2013

Color Uncovered

Engaging ebook combines art with science in playful ways

Common Sense Says:
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5-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Cool optical illusions and surprising facts.

Cons: Could use links to web resources or other experiments on their site.

Bottom Line: Color Uncovered is a great way to enhance an art curriculum or to bring a more playful and artistic side to science.

This is great for independent work related to an art class, but also has topics related to physics, biology (physiology), and psychology. Use the individual pages as a springboard for more in-depth discussions, or bring in additional experiments from the Exploratorium website. Kids may be inspired to do further research in any one of the subject areas covered.

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Color Uncovered is an ebook app from the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco. It explores a range of science topics related to color, including colorblindness, light refraction, optical illusions, the "feelings" of color, painting, and pigment. Each of the 18 pages introduces a new concept with an experiment or surprising tidbit of information (did you know that they used to make brown paint with resin from mummies?). The experiments typically involve optical illusions that highlight ways in which our eyes and brain process information and, although they aren't games, they are fun to share with other people. 

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There is a lot of information packed into the ebook, and it's done in a playful and interactive way. Since it's a book rather than an activity app, it doesn't have some of the features you'd expect with educational gaming apps, but it also doesn't need them. Kids may develop an interest in subjects they may not have cared about or considered before after such an engaging introduction.

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Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

This interactive ebook has kids asking why and how through a series of fun experiments they can do right on the device. It's not a game but kids may be inclined to share it with others.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The content makes kids look at the world in a different way while introducing some challenging science concepts.The experiments illustrate the science and are followed up by an explanation of how it all works.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The publisher of the app has a website with additional experiments for kids to try.