Lightsticks and Luminescence

Things that glow in the dark can seem like magic, but they’re really chemistry! Visit these links to learn how luminescence works, to experiment with lightsticks, see why an internet Mountain Dew video was a fake, and more.


lightstick dance
Lakeville South High School, Lakeville, MN

Experiments & Activities

Videos & Podcasts


Articles & Information

  • What's That Stuff? Lightsticks
    Learn about early research into chemiluminescence, with fireflies for inspiration.
  • How Lightsticks Work
    It seems simple—snap a lightstick, shake it up, and watch it glow. But there’s a lot of chemistry packed into that little tube!
  • Light Stick Colors
    Find out where lightsticks get their different-colored glow.
  • Mountain Dew Glow
    It’s a fake! Learn why the glowing Mountain Dew YouTube video was a hoax.