The Art and Science of Light

About the Session 

This set of activities uses objects from the Whipple Museum to explore:

Links between art and science

Microscopes

Telescopes 

Reflection and refraction

Optical illusions and how they work 

Duration: Can be booked as: 

A 60-minute outreach session (online or in person) with ideas for experiments to complete in class

or

Gravel Hunters at school

It might not look very exciting but flint gravel has a story to tell of a warm chalky sea that covered a lot of England about 90 million years ago. That’s when dinosaur were around although they were not living in this particular sea. Sometimes flint filles the holes made by borrowing animals and sometimes, if we’re lucky it enclosed the remains of sea creatures meaning it is great place to look for fossils.

What's in a name?

Scientists use all sorts of different ways to name the new plants, animals and fossils they find.

Two parts - Scientific names usually have two parts, just as people have a first name and a family name.

Latin or Ancient Greek - Often the names use words from Latin or Ancient Greek.

Bag of bones

It is really unusual for a palaeontologist (scientist who study fossils) to find a complete skeleton with all the bones in the right place. We are more likely to find only a few bones or a jumbled up skeleton.

Putting a skeleton back to together when you know what the animal looks like can be a challenge, but imagine how hard that becomes when there are no more of those creatures alive for you look at. It is a bit like trying to put a jigsaw puzzle together when you don’t have the photo on the box as a guide.