Engagement Programme

Returning for a third year, the magnificent Sir Harold Hillier Gardens are set to shine even bigger and brighter than ever before! Award winning producers, Light Up Trails return in November 2024 with a host of NEW glittering installations and amazing food and drink, completing a sensational, sensory feast! We will be showcasing new light installations using both fibre optics and the latest lighting technology and for this reason we have partnered again, with University of Southampton and their Light Express for our 2024 Engagement Programme.

The Light Express roadshow features a dazzling laser light display created by powerful lasers generally not seen outside research labs and at the Light Trail. Southampton University’s show presents its audience with a series of fascinating visual demonstrations exploring the physics of light and the science behind the internet developed at the University of Southampton.

At Light Up Trails you will see a range of installations using the latest technology and the wonderful thing about this is your students will understand how they work and may even be inspired to become a light artist.

Who is the show is aimed at?

GCSE Science and A-Level Physics students, where it links well with a number of topics in the National Curriculum. The show is for 200 - 250 students and can be booked for a morning, afternoon, or after-school session.

The Light Express Roadshow consists of demonstrations and hands-on activities for school and college students featuring laser light.

The experience covers principals including how a laser works, diffraction, refraction, reflection, total internal reflection, white light and the electromagnetic spectrum, the interaction of light and matter, optical fibres, and telecommunications.

What will they learn?

The demonstration lecture offers its audience an opportunity to see high-powered lasers in action. Highlights include:

  • Photonics equipment not generally found outside research labs.
  • Demonstrations of the breath-taking optical engineering that drives modern telecommunications.
  • A range of experiments in the show which illustrate the physics of light, such as, total internal reflection, Tyndell's experiment, and transmitting music down a laser beam.

The Light Express covers several key areas of the national curriculum from key stage 4 science including characteristics of waves, the electromagnetic spectrum, refraction and diffraction and how more information can be transmitted.

How long does it last?

The show lasts 45 minutes, with extra time for questions from interested students.

  • Introduction and laser show (5 mins)
  • The Science of Light (35 mins)
  • Final laser show (5 mins)
  • Questions and discussions

What do we need?

The roadshow is self-contained apart from requiring power and water. Laser safety requires that the bottom beam height is at least 3m from the ground or cordoned off where it is below 3m. Therefore, the larger space you have available the better and a stage would be preferred.

Organisers require at least 2.5 hours prior to the start time to set up. The laser system requires a couple of standard power sockets for extension cables and is very heavy. It is delivered on trolleys however we require the following.

  • At least 2 sturdy tables of the same height at the front of the room
  • Parking nearby the with a ramp or lift access to the performance space
  • The show uses mist to enhance the laser beams and therefore smoke alarms must be turned off in the demonstration room during set up and during the show.
  • Organisers provide their own speakers and sound system, if they can plug in their sound system to your hall PA system and data projector, if you have one, it would be an advantage.
  • The laser display works best in complete darkness, so a blacked-out room is best.
  • Please turn off any air conditioning for a better effect
  • The show requires water during part of the show, a kitchen or bathroom tap is fine.

Light Up Trails will invite up to 250 children who participate in the programme, to the preview night on 27 November 2024 between 4:30pm and 7:30pm, providing they are accompanied by their teachers based on the school ratio requirements for trips and outings.

To book a show please email your interest to Light Up Trails at info@lightuptrails.com

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