The Colour Spinning Disk

Pedagogical guidelines and construction instructions

The Colour Spinning Disk is based on a physics experiment, usually called the Newton disk. This is a rotating disk whose surface is divided into different colours, that appear to be white or grey when it is spun quickly. The colours are the primary colures blue, red, and yellow and its variants, green, orange, violet.

The Colour Spinning Disk described here is designed for children from 4 to 7 years old. Teachers can adapt the ideas to other ages.


It can be implemented using only primary colours, e.g. red and yellow, or red and blue, or blue and yellow. In this case, it will appear to be orange, in the first situation, or violet or green, in the second and third situations, when the disk is spun quickly.

Learning goals

When constructing the Spinning Disk several learning goals can be achieved.

  • To learn about physics
    • Properties of light and colour.
    • History of science
    • Mechanisms – rotation mechanisms
    • Forms of energy – work and windpower
  • To learn about biology: Perception mechanisms (persistence of vision)
  • To learn mathematical concepts: shapes, circles and triangles, numbers, and equal parts/fractions
  • To develop engineering competences
  • To develop competencies of analysis and construction.


How to use the Colour Spinning Disk step by step guide – English here

Hvordan det fargespinnende hjulet kan brukes til å erfare og lære om realfag – Download the step by step guide in Norwegian here

Pião Colorido – Download the Step by step guide in Portuguese here

Il disco rotante – Istruzioni in italiano

Въртящ се диск на Нютон – инструкции за строителство