Extreme Science

This year, DWC has collaborated with the Otago Museum on the Extreme Science II project to bring science to the most remote parts of New Zealand. Over the last two months the team has visited Northland, the West Coast of the South Island and Great Barrier Island!

During the week of 14th – 18th October the DWC, Otago Museum and SPIE Auckland student chapter visited schools across Northland and ran an evening community science fair in Keri Keri Primary school. From the 20th – 26th October science communicators brought DWC light and photonic science and experiments to all the schools between Haast and Hokitika and ran community science evenings in Haast, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef and Harihari.


Andy of the DWC talks about colour changing and fluorescent chemistry to students of Opua school in Northland.


The children of Haast primary school see their bush walk in a whole new light by using diffraction glasses to learn about rainbows and the physics of light.Shana of SPIE Auckland shows a student how to make a pinhole camera to explore how lenses can be used to manipulate light.

Lab in a Box

To celebrate the anniversary of Captain Cook observing the transit of Mercury Lab in A Box was based in Mercury Bay museum as part of the Tuia 250 Mercury Rising project. Across the 7th – 10th November the outreach team ran school visits and community science shows about the physics and chemistry of stars. Lab in A Box was then moved to Cook’s Beach for an all-night Star Party and to view the transit of Mercury at sunrise on 12th November.

Lab In A Box at the Mercury Bay Museum to celebrate 250 years since Captain Cook made his observations of the transit of Mercury, which gave the area its name!

Over 100 people turned out to view the transit of Mercury through solar telescopes just after sunrise on the 12th November


School sessions and community days were run in LIAB in the lead up to the transit to talk about the physics and chemistry of star.

Demos in Fiji

While taking their Far from Frozen climate change showcase to Fiji, the Otago Museum science team took every chance to share some photonics-based demos with the students that came along.



The students were great and loved exploring properties of light using diffraction glasses, lasers and IR cameras as well as exploring hidden worlds under UV light.

Over two weeks the team spent time in Suva, Rakiraki and Lautoka, taking science to over 1,000 students who otherwise wouldn’t have such an opportunity.