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Science kit unlocks the secret of light

David Ompong and Adam Turley
CDU Engineering Mathematics Lecturer Dr David Ompong with Essington Teacher Adam Turley with the mini-spectrometers which are part of the new home STEM kits.

A kaleidoscope of light and colour is on offer to Territorians to celebrate the International Day of Light, thanks to science kits available through a partnership between Inspired NT and Charles Darwin University.

Understanding light – a science that helped spur the growth of physics in the 1900s – is the focus of the latest STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) home kit launched this week.

Essington International School Darwin physics teacher Adam Turley, who created the kit, said he hoped it would open a new world of light and science to the Darwin community.

He said the Inspired NT home kit included tools and instructions to create an optical illusion character and a foldable mini-spectrometer.

“The idea behind the kit is to show people that what we observe is not always what the world looks like,” Mr Turley said.

“The spectrometer breaks light apart. It puts an object in between your eye and your brain to show you that the world can look very different.

“A simple experiment like this can show you that the world you have grown up with is actually far more interesting and beautiful than you could ever have expected.”

CDU Engineering Mathematics Lecturer Dr David Ompong said tomorrow's International Day of Light was a reminder of how the study of light had shaped the development of science across the world.

“It was the attempt to understand the nature of light in the 1900s that spurred the growth of physics, particularly quantum physics,” Dr Ompong said.

“This led to many applications of physics, such as electronics, GPS navigation and telecommunications, and further studies about light could lead to more applications in the future.”

The understanding light STEM home kits are available from public libraries across the Northern Territory from Saturday, 16 May. For more information visit

The initiative is a partnership between Inspired NT and CDU.