Home Science Studio Light and Shadow (The Opening Exhibition)

Light and Shadow (The Opening Exhibition)

Wall of Mirrors
During preparations for the Science Days Palestine Festival 2016, we found three abandoned mirrors. We tried to use them for a science exhibit. Having developed a prototype, we added two more mirrors so that all five form a pentagonal shape. In the mirrors, the number of images changes based on the angle between them. We used the exhibit in festivals and kindergartens. Every time, we evaluate the exhibit based on how the public interact with it and on our observations.
Glass Shadow
This exhibit stemmed from the training which we as exhibit developers had at the one of the important science centres in the world, Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception in San Francisco, USA during 2016 and 2017. Back then, we were working on an exhibit that requires darkness and one of us was holding a source of light. By accident, the light dropped onto a glass container with water inside, projecting a strange and beautiful shadow.
The idea of this exhibit originated in the Science Days Palestine Festival 2015, which centred on the theme of light and optics. Back then, we made a large model of a kaleidoscope, which quickly gained popularity with the audience. We used small models in Jerusalem due to limited access to and from the city which made it difficult to transport large models. Children built small models of cardboard covered with tin. It was a new learning track that engaged children with scientific phenomena. While experimenting with the exhibit with children at the Ni’lin Teacher Centre near Ramallah, we noticed that children were interested in taking footage of their ideas with their smart phones. It seemed as if they saw their masterpieces from another dimension. This inspired us to add a camera and a screen to the exhibit, and also to find a place in the exhibit itself where we could put a mobile on which children could capture and store their ideas.
Initially, we wanted to make a piano, or something similar to a piano, for kindergartens. The team made a small model which had to be permanently connected to a computer. That was not practical. Therefore, we repeatedly experimented with other techniques until we found a solution to this problem.
Your Father's Nose
In this exhibit, mirrors divide the faces of two /persons standing opposite each other on either side of the mirror into cross-sections and combine both faces into one. Sometimes the outcome is funny, and sometimes, the partners discover how much they resemble each other. A person inherits some features and traits that are identical either to their mother or to their father. That is, our countenance, including features of the face, is a mixture of theirs. The exhibit is inspired by this idea.
Ball Wall
This exhibit was tried out for the first time as an activity with teachers using a small cardboard wall made from recycled material so they can use it in their classrooms. The design underwent much experimentation, and technical challenges were encountered. Eventually, an open-ended exhibit was produced, allowing physical, mental and social interaction with participants. The exhibit is a sort of open tinkering activity, addressing the laws of motion, force, weight, equilibrium etc. It makes easy the study of physics by associating it with play and with simple tools. Children use the tools available near the wall, trying to respond to the task of rolling the ball up and down for the longest time possible through tracks they built based on their prior knowledge. The exhibit allowed students to learn from their mistakes and to rebuild their models accordingly until they succeed.
Language Blocks
This exhibit is social. Science is not only physics, chemistry and biology. Language Blocks explores verbal communication. It seems easy. All we have to do is describe the shape in front of us so that the person opposite makes it. It is likely that we underestimate verbal connotations in our communication with others, so we think that as soon as we talk, everyone understands what we want to say. Having experimented with the exhibit, it appeared to us that the task of the two participants is not at all easy. Each person sees things from their own perspective. Perhaps they do not adequately explain what they want to say. The vocabularies people use differ according to their cultural and scientific backgrounds. An engineer might describe a shape in reference to the Cartesian level, while an artist would see it in terms of form, colour and design.
Zoom Window
The idea originated in the Science Days Palestine Festival 2014, the theme of which was Technology. Insects inspire scientists to make robots that simulate the functions of insects. Insects and their role are also a major theme in the Science Festival 2017 under the theme Anthropocene. We thought of making the characteristics of insects visible by offering the opportunity to examine living insects through a magnifying glass. While trialling the exhibit with the public, it was interesting that they came closer and observed the insects in great detail. Of particular note, children were interested in examining their bodies, as well as looking at objects other than insects. We developed the exhibit to enable the public to choose what they want to magnify according to their own interests.
Picasso's Shadows
When we started to think about this exhibit, we started with shadow and light in local architecture, which led us to manipulate the elements of design and explore the shapes of shadows formed by different objects. For example, if we focus light on a square, the resulting shadow may not be a square, but a trapezoid. Thus, the shape of an object can differ from that of its shadow. We decided to experiment with this exhibit with children. We placed a drawn shape on the ground together with wooden objects and a source of light so that the children could fill in the shape with shadows formed by moving the objects in front of the light source. We realised how complicated the idea was for children.
Topographic maps indicate three-dimensional features on the surface of earth. The different elevations of the dots and the distance between colors and contour lines help to easily understand the drawn details, and makes the represented landscape more clear and distinct.
This exhibit combines science and art. It explains how animated pictures work and examines how we see with our eyes. If the room is totally dark or lit, we cannot see the motion which the exhibit aims to show us. The motion we see takes place when there is a flickering light because the eye cannot keep up with the frequency of light
Motion & Stillness Exhibition
Light and Shadow (The Opening Exhibition)
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