GREENSBORO, NC — On Wednesday, June 27, the Greensboro Science Center (GSC) is bringing back an old favorite with a new twist. The GSC’s popular maze will return as the Color Maze, a puzzling adventure that highlights the science of light and color. GSC members will receive a preview of the exhibit from 9:00 a.m. – noon on Wednesday, June 27 before it opens to all GSC guests at noon.
Upon entering the exhibit, guests will encounter hands-on stations designed to shed some light on everything from optical illusions and color blindness to ultraviolet light and wavelengths. Young children are invited to explore and learn in a play area containing manipulatives like colorful blocks and books about colors. In addition, guests can pop virtual balloons and watch them rain colorful confetti, create colored shadows, and put on a puppet show with shadow puppets.
The maze itself features twists and turns with colorful surprises around every bend. Fireflies are featured in an area designed to enlighten guests about bioluminescence (light produced by living things). Prisms illuminate the mystery behind rainbows, demonstrating how white light is split into the color spectrum. Shooting stars spotlight the science behind the different colors you see when meteors streak through the sky. Fun finds like colorful orbs and a black light zone also await discovery.
Martha Regester, the GSC’s VP of Education, says, “Color is such a big part of our world and we wanted to shed some light on the fun science behind the spectrum and optics! We think visitors of all ages will really enjoy the exhibit’s special effects and want to play with color.”
Admission to the Color Maze is included with general admission to the Greensboro Science Center. General admission is $13.50 for adults ages 14 – 64, $12.50 for children ages 3 – 13 and $12.50 for seniors ages 65+. Children 2 and under as well as Greensboro Science Center Members are free.
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About the Greensboro Science Center – A premier family attraction in North Carolina that offers the state’s first accredited inland aquarium, a hands-on science museum, an accredited Animal Discovery Zoological Park, a state-of-the-art OmniSphere Theater, and SKYWILD, an animal-inspired treetop adventure park. The GSC is also NC’s only dually accredited AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) and AAM (American Alliance of Museums) science attraction – an honor only 14 attractions in the nation can claim. The Greensboro Science Center is located at 4301 Lawndale Drive in Greensboro and is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit http://www.greensboroscience.org.
Read on to learn about what’s happening in the video above:
Our scientist pours two solutions, labeled Solution A and Solution B, into two separate beakers (these solutions are respectively a Luminol mixture and Hydrogen Peroxide). [NOTE: Luminol is a “versatile” chemical that happens to be very good at demonstrating the turning of chemical potential energy into radiant, or light, energy.] He empties the two beakers into the tube apparatus, turns the lights off, then the magic happens as the solutions combine to make a glowing liquid! THIS is chemical potential energy turned radiant energy.
Some glowing “stuff” gets its light by way of a reaction called chemiluminescence. Chemiluminescent reactions are chemical reactions that yield light without producing much heat, which we think is pretty amazing. What else undergoes chemiluminescent reactions? To list a couple of common occurrences: fireflies and lightsticks.
Firefly. Photo courtesy of nativeplantwildlifegarden.com
Why are we particularly excited about glowing stuff? Because Pajama Jam is almost upon us (tomorrow night), and there’s going to be a ton of glowing stuff there – glow-in-the-dark bowling, glow-in-the-dark ring toss, glow-in-the-dark bead necklaces, and more! AND now you know why these things can glow without burning us – they are undergoing chemical reactions which yield light with the production of very little heat…unlike, say, the light produced by a conventional lightbulb.
Tickets for Pajama Jam are available online here. We hope to see you there!