Visit our site

VolcanoFest: a public outreach extravaganza


15 February 2023

Magma Pop fig

VolcanoFest 2023 was a week-long volcano hazard scientist and public engagement event and celebration of all things volcano.

The brainchild of Prof Ben Kennedy (UC), VolcanoFest ran alongside IAVCEI, the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, at their  annual conference in Rotorua in January/February 2023. Over 900 scientists from 41 countries attended, and the Beneath the Waves team presented on a range of research topics (see Data & Resources).  

At the public VolcanoFest event, people could meet volcanologists, ask questions, and learn more about what’s going on in the earth under our feet. There was a volcano art and photography exhibition, volcano experiments and game demonstrations. 

The educational and outreach volcano game products from Beneath the Waves and the University of Canterbury (UC) were showcased as exemplars of best practice to the other international scientists and to school children and the Rotorua public.  

In the Media  


Hero image: Magma Pop, a computer game, was on show engaging students of all ages to learn about what magma and crystals are made of. The School of Product Design at UC and the Beneath the Waves program built and adapted this game to include coastal hazard management learning goals suitable for younger students. [Photo: Ben Kennedy] 

card game pic
A five-minute volcano collaborative card game, and House of Science Volcano box of teacher activities with full Te Reo translation, were both demonstrated publicly for the first time both proving popular with scientists, emergency managers, children, and parents. [Photo: Ben Kennedy]
tsunami pool fig
Graham Leonard (GNS Science) showcased the Beneath the Waves tsunami-producing volcano in a paddling pool, which drew a crowd all week, teaching tamariki about coastal dangers of volcanoes. [Photo: Ben Kennedy]