The Stage Lighting Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom. 

This Interactive does use a newer technology known as WebGL. WebGL is a JavaScript-based technology that is built into most modern browsers on mobile devices as well as desktop/laptop browsers. Older browsers may not be WebGL compliant or may not offer it as a standard feature but allow it to be enabled by the user of the device. For instance, the Safari browser has an Enable WebGL option in its Develop menu. Without enabling WebGL, the use of WebGL JavaScript code is not functional and would not work in such browsers. We expect that future browsers will all be WebGL-compliant and we have thus used this technology for the creation of this Interactive. Additional information about WebGL can be found on Wikipedia.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is one of several Interactives in this section that pertain to the topic of color addition, color subtraction, filters, and color vision. In this Interactive, learners explore how colored stage lights affect the appearance of actors upon a stage. There are several different actors, each having a different color. The actors are eggs, apples, pears, and other food items. The learner must illuminate the actor with various colored spotlights and observe the resulting color. From careful observation of the color appearance of the actors, one can deduce the color of the actor.

We have provided a classroom-ready exercise for use with this Interactive. The exercise is intended to help students process the observations from interacting with the Stage Lighting simulation. After making observations, students are asked to analyze their findings and to draw consistent conclusions. We would like to thank Physics Teacher Judy Kolb Rieke of Ursuline Academy in St. Louis, Missouri who reached out on Facebook to share with us her idea of how she uses our Interactive. We adapted the exercise from what she sent us and the rest is history. 

If you're a teacher and you have an idea for an exercise to go with one of our Interactives, then why not do what Judy did. Please share your idea with us on social media.

Our Stage Lighting simulation is now available with a Concept Checker. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with the Concept Checker.


Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Stage Lighting Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignment LC5 of the Light and Color module provides a great complement to this Interactive. It is best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. It would be a great follow-up to the use of this Interactive. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding of color vision, most notably ...

    Reflection, Transmision, and Color
    Color Addition and Subtraction
    Viewed in Another Light
    Pigments and Paints

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Four notable lab ideas include ...

    Color Addition Lab
    Taking Away from RGB Lab
    Painting with CMY Lab
    Filtering Away Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating the Stage Lighting Interactive into an instructional unit on Light and Color can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive and for contributing it to our collection of Physics Interactives. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.