Humphry Davy's Light Fantastic

Key Stage 2

What was it like to work in the darkness of a mine tunnel? How did miners overcome the problem of darkness in the mine? 


Aims of the Workshop:

  • To understand the problem of no natural light when underground

  • To safely compare light sources from different periods of time

  • To be aware of Humphry Davy's role in the development of electric lighting and the miners' safety lamp. 

  • To explore the use of reflection in lamps


What happens on the day?

Activities in our dark room include comparing old and modern light sources, with demonstrations of genuine mining lamps from different ages. Consider the pros and cons of this range of lights, then experiment with light and dark resources to discover a purpose for reflection.

Main themes: Science (Light), History (Significant historical events, people and places)

Don’t forget to bring your torches if you have them!


Accompanying Resources


For this workshop, the standard Outreach would be suitable for this age group and available to local groups. Alternatively, the Mini-Miners! outreach would be suitable for younger students. A charge to cover petrol costs applies. Please discuss your options with a member of the Learning Team.

Loans Box:

To complement this workshop, the Light and Dark Loan Box contains a Dark Den, lights and sensory activities for learning through play. 

Alternatively, the Mining History Loan Box introduces the basics of hard rock mining through both replica and genuine objects, photos and information. Or, the Basil and Scraggs Loans Box can be used for younger students to prepare them for a visit using our Big Book and play activities.

Website Links:

See the top right hand side of this screen for related links on this website or explore topics for yourself.

More detail for teachers: 

Links to relevant downloadable pdfs can be found along the right of this page (scroll up). Further teaching resources, audios and photos can be downloaded from our Resource Bank.


For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Geevor's Learning Team


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