The Light and Sound Discovery Centre

OUR STORY

AWARDS
Richard Rennie who runs the Light and Sound Discovery Centre has gained the following awards:

2016     Rotary Community Award - for exceptional social and community service.

2011     Western Australian Heritage Awards
- Outstanding Voluntary Contribution to Heritage by an Individual - Highly Commended.

2006    Premier’s Science Prize for Excellence in Science Communication
for work in establishing the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre.

2004   Spirit of Heritage award for the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre - Fremantle Heritage Festival 2004.

2004   Finalist Community Service Industry Awards for Educational Programs in the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre in the category ‘Being Innovative’ (small group/organisation).

2000    de Laeter Medal for outstanding contribution to science education. This medal is awarded by the Science Teachers’ Association of W.A. Only one medal is awarded each year.

2000    Technology Innovation Best Practice Award for the S.C.O.T. (Science Class Of Tomorrow) project. This was presented at the World In My Classroom Conference.

2000    BHP Science Awards for Teachers - Highly Commended for the S.C.O.T. Project.





Above: Richard Rennie, when at the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre, receiving the
2006 Premier's Prize for Excellence in Science Communication.


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History  Planning for a light and sound museum commenced in 1964. 

The Museum of Light and Sound Technology was founded in 1980.

The Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre was opened in 2003 and was closed in 2009.

The Light and Sound Discovery Centre was created in 2013 to continue the work of the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre.
Our Aims To collect, preserve, research, display and interpret to the public examples of technologies that use light and/or sound, with special emphasis on light and sound technologies that were used for the recording, retrieval and transmission of information. 

To use these light and sound technologies in educational and entertaining environments for people of all ages. 

Exhibitions and Consultations In the period 1980 – 2000 The Museum of Light and Sound Technology was involved in numerous displays and exhibitions. 

Significant exhibitions presented by the museum include those hosted by:

  • Royal Western Australian Historical Society - Nedlands
  • City of Fremantle Library - Fremantle
  • Hyde Park Holiday (festival) - Perth
  • Town of Waroona 
  • City of Belmont Library - Belmont
Groups to which the museum has contributed by providing public displays include:
  • Colonial Bottle Club of W.A.
  • Antique Collectors Club of W.A.
  • Vintage Wireless and Gramophones Club of W.A.
  • Nostalgia Unlimited - Perry Lakes
  • Mandurah Collectors Club 
Exhibitions to which the museum has loaned artifacts for display include:
  • Capital Community Radio 
  • My Fair Lady stage production
  • John Curtin's Legacy - John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library Bentley
  • Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts - Edith Cowan University
  • The Illuminating Engineers Society of Australia - Perth
  • The Western Australian Museum - Perth and Kalgoorlie
The Museum of Light and Sound Technology was also a major contributor to (and co-curator of) the following:
  • Centenary of the Cinema Exhibition - Hellenic Gallery of the Western Australian Museum. (Winner of AMEC Museum Education Award)
  • Centenary of Recorded Sound Exhibition - Entertainment Centre Perth
Institutions to which the museum has been a consultant include:
  • Western Australian Museum - Kalgoorlie Boulder branch
  • University of the Third Age - Claremont
  • History House - Armadale-Kelmscott Municipal Museum
  • Wongan Hills Museum - Wongan Hills
  • Robert Holmes Court Collection - Perth
  • Tom Fernihough Collection - Perth
  • Allan Lynd Collection - Tasmania
  • Wynella Museum - Denmark
  • Blythewood Museum - Bridgetown
  • Subiaco Historical Society - Subiaco
  • Southern Cross Museum - Southern Cross
  • Australian Customs Service - Western Australia
  • The Australian Museum of Motion Picture Technology - Western Australian chapter
  Professional development lectures or workshops presented by The Museum of Light and Sound Technology:
  • Light and Sound: P.D. for the Early Year Education Society (2004).
  • Oh! I See. Science of light and sight - workshop for primary school teachers (2003).
  • It's Not My Volt! Science of electricity - workshop for primary school teachers (2002).
  • How Changes in Technology Have Changed Teaching - Conference of the Science Teachers Association of W.A. (CONSTAWA)
  • How Changes in Technology Have Changed Teaching - Institute on science communication, Curtin University of Technology
  • Back To the Future Science - Future Science Conference (STAWA).
  • Teaching Science Using Historical Artefacts - (CONSTAWA)
  • Science of the Early Cinema - Conference of the Australia Science Teachers Association. (ASTA)
  • Its All In The Groove - A workshop for gramophone owners and small museums.
  • Dinosaurs of Film! History of the cinema - Claremont Museum.
Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre
The Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre evolved from the Museum of Light and Sound Technology. It was a science Experience and Learn centre which used historical gadgets to provide real context for science learning experiences. It was open in the Fremantle History Museum for six and a half years.
School Holiday Programs presented by the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre In the period 2004 to 2009, over 2750 children booked into the school holidays programs offered by the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre.

The holidays programs presented by the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre and the Fremantle History Museum were considered by parents and children to be the equal to the best in the Western Australian Museum. Indeed many parents regard the holidays programs presented in the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre as some of the best offered by any organization in the metropolitan area. (For instance the January 2007 program was booked out on almost every day of the two weeks it was offered.) Following is a list of the programs offered.

Super Sounds (Sounds and Hearing) (April 2004)
The Tale of the Talking Machine
The Great Morse Code Mystery
The Invisible Man (Science of Invisibility)
Movie Magic (Invention of the Moving Pictures)
Edison and His Inventions
Mysterious Musical Instruments
Movie Magic (Invention of the Moving Pictures)
The Tale of the Talking Machine (History of sound recording)
Super Sounds (sound and hearing)
The Great Morse Code Mystery (Using morse code)
Spectre - the Science of Illusions
Edison and His Inventions
Fun With Mirrors (periscope or kaleidoscope)
ColourSpace (spectroscope)
Inspect a Gadget (Phenakistoscope)
Toilet Roll Radio (Crystal Set)
Good Vibrations (Zip-o-phone)
Fun with Fotography (Camera Obscura)
3D (Brewster Stereoscope)
No Batteries Required (Crank-o-Phone)
Galileo’s Great Experiments (Galilean Telescope) (July 2009)
Exhibitions presented by the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre The other focus of the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre was its special exhibitions. Three or Four exhibitions were presented each year. Following is a list of exhibitions presented in the period 2004 - 2009

50th Anniversary of Rock Around the Clock (April 2004) - Talk and display.
Richard Rennie (1890 – 1936) - Fremantle’s Rough Diamond. Talk and display. Fremantle Heritage Week 2004
80th Anniversary of opening of 6WF (June 2004) - Western Australia’s first radio station. Talk and display
The Days of the Quick Brown Fox - Display of historic office technology Seniors Week 2004 - Talk and exhibition
Professor Archibald’s Fantastic Phonograph (The story of the first Edison Phonograph in W.A.) Talk and Presentation -  Fremantle Festival 2004
Treasures in the Tracks - the History of Magnetic Recording. Exhibition and Talk Topic  - Fremantle Festival 2005
Billy Edwards and the Billy Edwards Music Company -  the story of Western Australia's Billy Edwards. Fremantle Heritage Week 2005 – Talk and display:
Movie Magic (2005 - 2006)- Exhibition celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Cinema.
From Daguerreotype to Digital - a Brief History of Photography Exhibition Fotofreo 2006 - The City of Fremantle Festival of Photography and Fremantle Heritage Week 2006
The Invention of Television - Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Television in Australia Exhibition and Talk  Seniors Week 2006  (2006)
Clarion Gold Exhibition – celebrating Western Australia’s legendary Clarion Record label. (2006/7)
Bubbles of Light – The Evolution of the Light Globe. Exhibition and Talk for Fremantle Heritage Week. (2007)
The First Real International Exhibitions of Darksuckers (F.R.I.E.D.) - exhibition and talks about darksuckers and the theory of dark (2007)
The Edison Phonograph - Celebrating the 130th anniversary of the invention of the talking machine. (2007) Exhibition and talks.
Light and Sound Toys  - An exhibition of toys that use light and/or sound - modern and antique. (Jan - Mar 2008)
Wild “1” - Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Australian Rock ’n’ Roll (May - July 2008) Exhibition and talks.
Science in (Old) Comic Books - Science concepts used on comic books of the 1950s and 1960s. (August - October 2009)
From Wireless to Radio - The story of radio in the home. (December 2008 - February 2009)
The Long History of the Long Playing Record - Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 45 rpm record. (April - June 2009)
Public Programs presented by the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre
The Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre has presented public programs in the Fremantle History Museum in conjunction with the following events.

The Sounds of World War I (Anzac Day 2003) - Talk:  The use of the gramophone in the First World War.
Seniors Week 2003 - Historic Sights and Sounds - Using light and sound technology to bring the past to life.
Fremantle Heritage Week 2004 - Topic: Richard Rennie - Fremantle’s Rough Diamond. Talk and display.
50th Anniversary of Rock Around the Clock (April 2004) - Talk and display.
80th Anniversary of opening of 6WF (June 2004) - Western Australia’s first radio station. Talk and display
Seniors Week 2004 - Exhibition Theme: The Days of the Quick Brown Fox - Display of historic office technology
National Science Week 2004 and 2005- Presentation Topic: Incredible Inventions That Changed The World.
Fremantle Festival 2004 - Talk Topic: Professor Archibald’s Fantastic Phonograph (The story of the first Edison Phonograph in W.A.)
Foster Family Free Day 2005 - Presentation Topic: Mysterious Musical Instruments (no charges to visitors)
Fremantle Heritage Week 2005 - Talk Topic: Billy Edwards and the Billy Edwards Music Company -  the story of Western Australia’s Billy Edwards.
Fremantle Festival 2005 - Talk Topic: Treasures in the Tracks - the history of magnetic recording.
Movie Magic (2005 - 2006) - exhibition and talks celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Cinema.
Fotofreo 2006 - The City of Fremantle Festival of Photography - Exhibition titled From Daguerreotype to Digital - a brief History of Photography.
Fremantle Heritage Week 2006 - Talk Topic: From Daguerreotype to Digital - a brief History of Photography.
Seniors Week 2006 - Talk Topic: The Invention of Television - Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Television in Australia.
Fremantle Heritage Festival 2007 (3 Talks) -  Topic: Bubbles of Light - The Evolution of the Light Globe. (May 07)
Fremantle Heritage Festival 2007 (2 Talks) - Topic: Darksuckers and the Theory of Dark.
Seniors Week 2007 (2 talks) Topic: Professor Archibald’s Fantastic Phonograph - the story of the first Edison Phonograph in Western Australia.
Fremantle Festival 2007 (2 talks) Topic Edison’s Phonograph - the invention of the talking machine.
Fotofreo 2008 - The City of Fremantle Festival of Photography - Public talk - a brief History of Colour Photography.
Fremantle Heritage Festival 2008 - Wild “1” The Genesis of Australian Rock ‘n’ Roll - Talk celebrating the 50th anniversary of Australian rock ‘n’ Roll.
Seniors Week Oct 2008 - in Old Comic Books  - Public Presentation
Fremantle Heritage Festival 2009 - The Long History of the Long Playing Record (4 talks/presentations)
School Holiday Programs for Melville's Museum and Local History Service After the Fremantle History Museum was closed, the Fremantle Light and sound Discovery Centre had no permanent venue.

For the period 2010 - 2013 we presented the following school holiday programs for the Melville's Museum and Local History Service.

Jan 2010          Good Vibrations (Zip-o-Phone)       
April 2010       Chrom o Fun (Fun with Colour)       
July 2010        The Great Morse Code Challenge (In Wireless Hill Museum)
Oct 2010        Toilet Roll Radio - Crystal Set (In Wireless Hill Museum)
Jan 2011        Make a Microscope (including flora and flora of Wireless Hill)
April 2011        Make a Camera Obscura (and use it to take photos)
July 2011        Magic Lantern Projector (Make a magic lantern projector)
Oct 2011        No Batteries Required (Make a hand cranked gramophone)
Jan 2012        3D (Make a 1850s Brewster Stereoscope)
April 2012        Telescopes - From Galileo to the SKA (Make a Galilean Telescope)
July 2012        Fun With Mirrors (Make a Periscope and Kaleidoscope)
Oct 2012        Morse Code to the Rescue
Jan 2013        Movie Magic (Phenakistoscope, Zootrope, Thaumatrope)

Other Presentations for Melville's Museum and Local History Service
In the period 2010–2013 Richard Rennie presented the following talks:

Sound Like History (Rare Historical sound recordings)
Two Ears Good (The History of Stereophonic Sound)
From 6WF to the ABC (celebrating the 80th anniversary of the ABC)
G.P. Stevens and the Story of the First Radio Experiments in WA
Royalty on Records (Rare recordings of Kings and Queens from 1895–1960)
Sounds Like Heritage (Rare and unique early western Australian Sound Recordings) (2013)

Light and Sound Discovery Centre
The Light and Sound Discovery Centre has evolved from the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre.

It does not have a permanent display. However it can provide science programs in schools. It can provide school holiday programs.

In April 2013 the school holiday program presented in Hopetoun was
    No Batteries Required – Machines that make music without the need for batteries; and make a Crank-o-Phone (hand cranked gramophone) to keep.

On April 28 it presented in Hopetoun Sounds Like Heritage as part of Western Australia's Heritage Festival. The presentation was repeated in Albany and then in Melville.
Staffing The Light and Sound Discovery Centre is a not-for-profit science organization. 

A qualified Science teacher runs the school programs and holidays programs on a cost recovery basis.

Community Services

Gramophone repairs and servicing

Help and conservation advice is available to small local museums throughout Western Australia.

The Light and Sound Discovery Centre offers to provide information about the correct way to repair, restore and service antique Gramophones or Phonographs.

Free advice is given on the care, conservation and restoration of early light and sound technological artifacts.

Professional Development
for Teachers
The Light and Sound Discovery Centre offers a stimulating and sometimes amusing professional development presentations.
Study and Research Programs The facilities of The Light and Sound Discovery Centre are available to Masters and PHD students for research purposes.  Technical and historical assistance is provided.

Research projects suitable for History, Media, Music and Technology students are available.  Some projects are specially relevant to Western Australia.  The centre provides a unique support for original historical and technological research in Western Australia.

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