Luminescence: The Spectrum of Science

June 27, 2016

Around 500 people visited “Luminescence: The Spectrum of Science” and left the one-day festival with a little more science lighting up their world. Most of the 500 attendees were our youngest bright sparks – primary school students from schools across the Wakatipu basin.

Audiences watched interactive demonstrations and met young scientists to talk about and explore the science and technology of light in this outreach project associated with the Dodd-Walls annual symposium and held in collaboration with Otago Museum and Catalyst.

Participants got to measure the width of their own hair with a laser beam, have their faces painted with fluorescent paint, discover how 3D movies and polarised sunglasses work, play with bre-optic cables like the ones which make the internet work, explore how white light splits into all the colours of the rainbow and lots more.

Each student got to take home a Light Matters Kit – a cardboard box containing experiments into the science of light and designed to encourage further learning at home with the family.

Feedback from a teacher: “WOW – absolutely AMAZING! Thank you so much for the opportunity! We took a group of six to seven year olds and they absolutely LOVED it! They had access to all kinds of resources – UV lights, laser lights, prisms, liquid nitrogen and much more. But the best resource was the people. Our students were so inspired to meet real life scientists and they learnt so much from the conversations they had with them.”