What could Da Vinci have created with electricity and neon? What would Edison have invented with more of an artistic flair?
Young artists and inventors and their parents are invited Saturday, May 26, to see how artists work with light and electricity during the “Bright Futures: Electric Art Lab” at NIU’s Faraday Hall Room 105.
From 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., participants will learn about electric art, see electricity demonstrations, and then apply basic concepts of electronics and circuitry to make some electric art of their own.
This free, hands-on activity lab will be presented by professional artists and physicists from NIU’s Time Arts – Design and Media Arts Department, NIU STEM Outreach and the Digital Convergence Lab. The Electric Art Lab is recommended for ages 10 and older.
During the lab, participants will also be able to collaborate with the artists on a work of electrical art that will be presented to the library and put on permanent display. The Electric Art Lab is part of the Bright Futures: Electrify Your Mind @ Your Library program, a collaboration between DeKalb Public Library and NIU STEM Outreach.
Throughout the spring, community members have been participating in events at the library and NIU’s campus to learn about concepts and careers in science, electricity and engineering. Community members and school groups in DeKalb are now also able to check out new books, DVDs and hands-on electricity kits from the library’s circulating collection. The kits include a snap circuit electrical kit, a Van de Graaf Generator wand Kit, a renewable energy experiment kit and a wind-generated power kit. They are available for check-out to students in sixth-grade and up.
The Bright Futures program was made possible by a grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Foundation, the IEEE Life Members Committee, and the IEEE Chicago Section.
The Bright Futures program will culminate with an Electric Fair at DeKalb Public Library at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14.
During the fair, attendees will be able to see electricity demonstrations and participate in hands-on activities from NIU STEM Outreach; the Time Arts – Design and Media Arts Department ; the Institute for Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment; Lights for Learning; various student groups; and DeKalb-Sycamore Chevrolet.
STEM Outreach will electrify pickles and hotdogs for attendees to snack on while they explore the fair.
For more information, about the Electric Art Lab or the DeKalb Public Library Electric Fair, call librarian Steve Roman at (815) 756-9568 ext. 280. The DeKalb Public Library is open seven days a week and is located at 309 Oak St. in DeKalb.
by Gillian King-Cargile