County Durham youngsters make plastic bottle lights for Lumiere Festival

Youngsters took part in a final workshop to make light bulbs out of plastic bottles ahead of the Lumiere Festival

Pelton Community Primary School pupil Niall, 10, with a plastic bottle filled with water being used as a light
Pelton Community Primary School pupil Niall, 10, with a plastic bottle filled with water being used as a light

Youngsters were taught how to make a light bulb out of a plastic bottle in a final school workshop ahead of Durham’s Lumiere Festival.

Pupils at Pelton Community Primary School, in Pelton, County Durham, used a small replica house installed their classroom, measured light levels and experienced what it is like living in a dark space, before seeing the effect of using a bottle.

The 1.5 litre containers are filled with water and chlorine and the chemical reaction omits a glowing light.

As part of Lumiere 2013, which starts on Thursday, a series of workshops have been held with 600 children in 21 schools, teaching them how to make a bulbs out of recycled plastic bottles.

Julie Short, Year 6 class teacher, said: “It’s a great workshop and project for the children to work on and it has really raised the awareness of the impact that light can have on children’s lives around the world.

“They are so excited about being part of the festival.”

Paul Norris Pelton Community Primary School pupils decorate plastic bottles ahead of the Lumiere Festival
Pelton Community Primary School pupils decorate plastic bottles ahead of the Lumiere Festival
 

Youngster Niall, aged 10, said: “Its been really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing my bottle in Durham as part of the festival.” Fellow pupil Kayla, aged 10, added: “I’ve had lots of fun and I’m really surprised that you make a lightbulb from an empty bottle.”

The workshops were organised by the ‘Liter of Light’ environmental group which will showcase bottle bulbs in an installation at this week’s Lumiere festival.

The creation won the Sustainia Community Award in an eco-competition headed by former Hollywood actor and politician Arnold Swarzenegger.

The project, alongside the My Shelter Foundation, has brought light to thousands of people all over the world thanks to a new technology developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology at Harvard University.

The bottle bulbs will be showcased in a specially-built structure at Lumiere in Durham which runs between Thursday and Sunday.

The initiative was instigated by Durham County Council’s Area Action Partnerships and Education Development Service.

It was delivered by outdoor and sustainability education specialists.

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