RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Lights, lasers, interaction!
Opening Saturday, Feb. 11, “Playing With Light” is a new exhibition coming to the Science Museum of Virginia, shining a light on the science behind how the world is illuminated.
“While most of us probably take it for granted because we’re surrounded by it, light plays a vital role in our daily lives,” said Timshel Purdum, Virginia C. Ellett Deputy Director of Education. “The word light encompasses so much; we forget just how much that general term includes and that it’s more than just visible light. This exhibition covers the full spectrum of light so guests can understand the many pieces and parts and recognize their differences.”
Attendees can expect to see a wide variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines on display in the exhibition — including physics, technology, material science, biology, engineering and astronomy.
“Playing With Light” features 21 interactive exhibits, as well as light-themed demonstrations and educational activities throughout the museum. Guests can sneak past a laser light security block, step inside a giant kaleidoscope, “draw” with infrared “paint”, freeze their shadow, make a laser beam bounce across water and build a powerful telescope.
There will also be several shows related to astronomy in The Dome, the museum’s observatory-shaped theatre.
Two upcoming events taking place at night will accompany the exhibition. The Feb. 10 Curiosity Camp-In and Mar. 3 Science After Dark will both feature special light-related programming to tie into the exhibition.
For teachers planning spring field trips, “Playing With Light” aligns with Virginia’s fourth and fifth grade standards of learning (SOLs). The exhibition is not just for children in that age group, however.
“Guests of all ages will appreciate that this exhibition reveals how science helps us explain and describe light in a fun and engaging way,” Purdum added. “Everyone who experiences the hands-on stations and experiments with the lasers, lenses and lights will leave with a better understanding of the world around us.”
The idea for “Playing With Light” originated from Sciteth, an interactive science museum in Perth, Australia. It examines vision, the beauty of rainbows, fiber optic communication, holographic security and laser surgery while offering the opportunity for exploration, creativity and experimentation.
“Playing With Light” will be on display through Aug. 20 and is covered by regular admission. The Science Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with tickets available at smv.org. Starting Mar. 6, the museum will be open seven days a week.