This Week From Bedtime Math: An Eye for Color

Count up some colors in today&s Bedtime Math challenge.
By Laura Overdeck
Oct 01, 2013



This Week From Bedtime Math: An Eye for Color

Oct 01, 2013

What is Bedtime Math? A message from Laura: Bedtime Math is a pretty simple idea: We all know we should read to our kids at night, but what about math? My husband and I have done fun, mischief-loaded math problems with our kids at night for years, and when at age 2 our third child started hollering for his own math problem, we realized we were onto something:  In a world where so many people say, "Ewww, math!" we had created a household culture where kids don't just tolerate math, they actually seek it out. Now, every week, we'll be posting a new problem right here on Scholastic Parents!
You probably know that you can mix any color using red, yellow, and/or blue paint. But on digital screens, colors are combinations of red, green, and blue. How does that work? Any color on your screen combines anywhere from zero to 255 "parts" of each of those three colors. All zeroes gives you black (no light), and all 255′s gives you white (full white). Mixing just red and blue does give you bright purple, but red and green together give you yellow. Weird!! For a fun experiment, open a photo of yourself in a program like Microsoft Paint and click on your eye with the color-grabber tool…you can find out exactly what color your eyes are, as a RGB (red green blue) code. Try your hair, skin, and clothes, too, and find out how you'd paint yourself on a digital screen.

Wee ones: If your eye color is 21 on blue but 1 point more than that on green, how much green do your eyes have?

Little kids: Colors with 3 equal RGB numbers make all the different shades of grey (okay parents, no jokes here…). If your eyes are RGB 72 78 72, how much does the green have to drop to give you all 72′s for pure grey? Bonus: What if you're 72 85 72?

Big kids: If your purple shirt comes out RGB 80 40 80, but your blue jeans come out 55 55 80, how many total points do you have to change the first codes to make the other?  Bonus: Having exactly 1/2 as much green as red (with no blue) makes a nice orange. If you want the lightest possible shade of that balance, what will the RGB code be? (Reminder: Bigger numbers make brighter, lighter colors.)

Wee ones: 22 on green.
Little kids: 6 points down.  Bonus: 13 points down.
Big kids: 40 points: 25-point change in the red, 15-point change in the green.  Bonus: The brightest color will put red at 254 (the biggest even number), so green will be 127.

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