Plugged In

Light up the winter nights with Illumination-inspired science activities

Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Posted by
Rachel Wong


Visit during Illumination to see the museum you know and love in a whole new light! You'll find colorful lasers and projections in the lobby.


Illumination celebrates things that sparkle and glow - like oversized mylar balloons and colorful laser shows!


During Illumination, the lights in the galleries are turned way down so that you can experiment with light in eye-popping ways.


Use see-through LEGOs to build structures on a light table, and send an LED LEGO vehicle down our zipline!


Join us at Illumination to see some of your favorite Science Museum locations glowing in a whole new light!

The winter solstice, or the moment that the North Pole tilts furthest from the sun, is approaching. Here in Minnesota, that moment is 10:28 a.m. on Friday, December 21. (Not in Minnesota? Find the exact moment of the solstice where you are here.) 

In the Northern Hemisphere, we'll see the fewest amount of daylight hours on solstice day. Let's brighten up the darkest time of year, then, by celebrating the science of light! During the Science Museum's Illumination event this month, we're dimming the lights throughout the museum and letting you play with things that sparkle and glow. 

Illumination is sure to inspire you to embrace the light during these long winter nights. The light play doesn't have to stay at the Science Museum, though. We've collected some simple activities that will help you light up your home, as well!

For the adventurer: LED Paper Copters
Launch your own paper helicopters with LED lights! How high can yours go?

For the laser show fan: Laser Jello
Learn how colored light travels by shining a laser through blue and red jello. It's a science experiment that doubles as dessert!

For the glow-in-the-dark partier: Liquid Light
Snap and shake your glow-in-the-dark light sticks and see what happens at different temperatures!

For the dueler: DIY Lightsaber
They're one of the most popular make-and-take activities at the Science Museum, and they fit in perfectly at this dark time of year. What color will yours be?

Illumination is underway at the Science Museum! Join us this Thursday, December 20 through Saturday, December 22 and Thursday, December 27 through Saturday, December 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. Festivities are included in exhibit gallery admission. You'll find five stories of lasers, lights, and things that glow. Bring your friends and family, celebrate the light, and see the museum you love in a whole new way. 

We love to see the fun that our visitors have - both here at the Science Museum or in their at-home science labs! Show us your solstice science; tag us @sciencemuseummn or use #ShareYourDiscovery!

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