Shadow Play

About the Exhibit

Shadow Play

Using story and narrative, explore size, transparency, and the color of shadows. Play with puppets, explore ratio and scale, and come do Shadow Play with MOXI.

Delve into the intriguing science of shadows and test different lighting applications to manipulate sizes, shapes, and colors. Conduct experiments to understand the principles behind shadow creation and use this knowledge to craft your own shadow puppets or put on a shadow play.

The Science of Shadows

Shadows are 3-dimensional absences of light. Shadows are created when an object reflects or absorbs light instead of allowing light to pass through it. The 3-dimensional shadow begins at the object on the side opposite the light source(s) and continues until it hits another surface. This could be fairly close, or really far away! We see shadows everyday in our homes, while walking down the street, at school, and even here at MOXI.

Projects for before and after your visit


Pixel Mosaic.

Explore how individual pixels (small squares of individual colors) can be assembled to create a larger picture.


Make your own kaleidoscope! Using a paper towel roll, cardboard, and tin foil, you can recreate one of MOXI’s exhibits.

More Exhibits.


Sound Track.

Go inside the Giant Guitar to learn about how your favorite guitar riffs begin. Be mesmerized by our very own George Rhoads-designed Sound Machine.

Speed Track.

Feed your need for speed as you build your own race car and send it down our test track. Prototype designs for a marble roller coaster. Discover the beauty in all types of movement.