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A Summer of Science

26 NovExhibitions / Learning and Discovery

Te Manawa’s summer programme has launched with the opening of a new interactive science exhibition.

Mighty Small, Mighty Bright focuses on the science of the very small. It was developed by MOTAT in Auckland, together with scientists from the Dodd Walls Centre and the MacDiarmid Institute. Te Manawa is its first stop on a nationwide tour.

It’s an exhibition that lets visitors get hands-on with scientific fields such as photonics (the science of light), advanced materials and nanotechnology. Mighty Small, Mighty Bright explains the science in ways designed to be as accessible as possible to all ages.

The exhibition also highlights New Zealand researchers who are leading their fields in developing practical applications for these technologies.

Visitors can discover the Laser Doppler Vibrometer, which uses beams of light to create and measure tiny earthquakes inside individual apples; these provide information about how ripe the apple is and whether it should be picked.

Measuring air pollution has until now needed bulky and expensive machinery – but Kiwi company Aeroqual has worked out how to shrink those requirements, developing a device that fits in the palm of someone’s hand. Mighty Small, Mighty Bright shows how they did it.

Visitors will be able to test many of these ideas for themselves. One interactive station demonstrates how magnetically sensitives particles of different sizes react – the effect of a magnet on iron sand may be familiar, but what will it do to nanoparticles?

With its broad range of topics demonstrating all kinds of science, Mighty Small, Mighty Bright is bound to fascinate visitors young and old. Even better: entry to the exhibition will be free of charge.

  • Mighty Small, Mighty Bright was created by MOTAT, in partnership with the MacDiarmid Institute, the Dodd-Walls Centre and Otago Museum. It is open 10am to 5pm daily. Entry is free.