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UC and KidsFest explore the power of science

21 July 2021

The University of Canterbury (UC) was proud to once again partner with the Christchurch City Council and Tūranga for KidsFest 2021.


Exploring the world of atoms and nano-science through experiments with lasers and augmented reality.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, KidsFest has entertained thousands of Ōtautahi Christchurch kids since the early 1990s, giving them hundreds of exciting and interactive activities to choose from during the winter school holidays.

Following the overwhelming popularity of the UC Science events at KidsFest 2020, the team were thrilled to partner with Tūranga once again to deliver an even bigger showcase in 2021, encouraging local kids to get involved in the wide and wonderful world of science.

Ting Wu KidsFest Dr. Ting Wu venturing in electromagnetism, under the close scrutiny of future scientists.

“For the past few years there has been a big push at the School of Physical and Chemical Sciences to bring science out of the labs and into the community, using tools that are both engaging and participative,” Dr Rodrigo Martinez Gazoni says.

A University of Canterbury Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Gazoni has been involved in KidsFest events for the School for the past two years.

“Allowing hands-on experimentation with physics and chemistry, while being able to chat with real scientists, or people working across the many different levels of science (from students to technical staff and academics), has proven particularly attractive for both kids and adults.”

The team were proactive in expanding their offering, developing scientific material like animations, augmented reality (AR) tools, virtual reality (VR) environments, real-life 3D models and more, for use across the various workshops held during the day.

After receiving “extraordinarily good feedback” from kids, parents, volunteers and the staff at Tūranga last year, the decision to return to KidsFest for 2021 was simple.

The positive response and access to even more space in the library inspired the school to gather more than 25 passionate undergraduate and postgraduate students, scientists, academics and technical staff, who shared their interest and expertise in science through a wide variety of UC-inspired activities for kids of all ages.

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