BD Lumiere
Martin Walker

Member Article

Business event to educate teachers

Businesses in the region have been educating teachers about how to get young people excited about STEM lessons.

Teachers have been given a unique insight into the upcoming Lumiere Durham light festival at a special training day at NETPark, also attending by a number of local firms.

As part of the NETPark Brainwave programme, the latest in a series of continuing professional development sessions showed teachers how the festival could be used to get pupils excited about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) lessons.

Business Durham, Durham County Council’s business gateway, and managers of NETPark were joined by Artichoke, organisers of the Lumiere festivals, to show the teachers the science behind the spectacle.

As well as hearing first-hand about the amazing success of the Lumiere festivals from co-director of Artichoke, Helen Marriage, the event also featured a workshop with Gina Czarnecki, one of the artists whose installations will be starring at the festival in November.

Alongside the artistic use of light, the teachers also learnt more about careers and employment opportunities in companies which work in lighting and its applications.

Peter Thorns, of Thorn Lighting in Spennymoor, showed how the company is a leading manufacturer of lights and Mike Hebbron, of Compound Photonics in Newton Aycliffe, demonstrated the company’s high-tech products including projectors for smartphones.

Helen Marriage said: “How Lumiere’s artists and designers achieve the stunning effects they create with light is fascinating.

“Whether it is state-of-the-art scanning technology, the maths behind some of our complex rigging projects or something beautifully simple like our Litre of Light campaign, which shows how a simple lightbulb can be made using sunlight refracted through a plastic bottle of water, this year’s programme is full of ideas to inspire and excite budding scientists and engineers.”

Cllr Neil Foster, Durham Council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “The event was a great success, giving teachers an opportunity to get an insight into the wonderful creativity of Lumiere.

“With the teachers taking what they’ve seen back to the classroom, we can be sure that County Durham is already inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Lumiere Durham 2013 runs from November 14–17. More information on the festival can be found at

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Walker .

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