Do you teach kids about Art or Science?

Information for Educators

Let's work together to outfit classrooms for exploring color in the 21st Century!


Outfitting the Color Explorer Classroom

Color Explorers is partnering with the children’s arts non-profit VIBE of Portland to test existing materials and develop new materials for use in the Color Explorer Classroom. We are in the process of creating a color resource center - an outfitter for color explorers of all ages - that will include curated, affordable, state-of-the-art educational resources. If you would like to suggest educational materials or products for inclusion in the Color Explorers Resource Center, please send us the products, or the links, for testing by the teachers and the kids in the VIBE art studio.

Color Explorations


Sorting and Naming Colors
Add Primary Cyan and Primary Magenta to the traditional ROYGBV colors for kids to explore


Mixing Colors in Paint
Introduction to CMY as subtractive primary colors


Mixing Colors in Light
Introduction to RGB as the additive primary colors

Middle School

Science of Color
Introduction to Physics of Color

Primary Colors Set the Stage

The core concept of primary colors is fundamental to understanding how color works. Learning about primary colors sets the stage for learning all other color concepts. Teaching CMY primaries enables kids to match up theory and experience because the colors they can make in paint are consistent with the conceptual models they learn. With RYB primaries, kids become frustrated when they mix Red and Blue, and instead of getting Purple, they get mud. Playing with color should be fun, not frustrating! 

Simply adding Cyan and Magenta to traditional sets of ROYGBV paints will give kids the opportunity to play with more colors and enable educators to teach either the modern CMY system or the traditional RYB system.

Bridging Art, Science and Technology

We are at a crossroads between the industrial age and the digital age. Understanding the relationship between colors on the computer, colors from the printer and colors of paint can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. By starting with CMY primaries in paint, students will gain a strong foundation for learning the CMYK and RGB systems that are essential to 21st Century Color. We need to teach color in a way that works for all three systems from the ground up, empowering students with a conceptual foundation they can use from fingerpainting to physics. With 21st Century Color, STEM becomes STEAM naturally.