SNOLAB launches a dark matter themed poster design contest

October 12, 2023 — Events

Because everybody loves a mystery, and because there can be no greater mystery than determining what the bulk of the universe is made of, SNOLAB is inviting students to help! 

Dark matter makes up a huge portion of the universe that researchers around the world are working to understand. Learning about it will teach us more about the cosmos and our place within them. SNOLAB is the world’s leading underground science laboratory, and Canada’s astroparticle physics lab. One of the main objectives of the science program is the direct detection of dark matter, a prospective subatomic particle thought to make up as much as 85 per cent of all matter in the universe.

“What is dark matter? This is simple to answer: we don’t know,” says Steve Sekula, SNOLAB Research Group Manager. When the universe provides a mystery of this scale, it is an invitation for everyone to participate in the solving. We know what dark matter does: it is the scaffold shaping the modern cosmos and it was there since almost the beginning of time, seeding what became the visible universe. The question of what it’s made from … that is where we need wide participation if we are to address the mystery.”

And that’s where students come in. SNOLAB is hosting a poster design contest for students aged 4-19 that is open to Canadian and international students. Students are invited to design an original visual artwork that explores the theme of dark matter. “Designs can focus on the mystery of dark matter, the role that it plays in the universe, the science behind it, the people studying it, or anything students find interesting about this topic,” says Blaire Flynn, Senior Education and Outreach Officer at SNOLAB. “Students can be as creative as they like. They can imagine what a dark matter particle or a dark matter superhero may look like. They could dream up a design for an experiment or travel deep into space following their imagination,” Flynn said. 

Poster designs can be created using any medium. Awards will be given to winners in each age category and all contest submissions will be displayed at the SNOLAB facility!  The poster design contest is part of Dark Matter Day an international outreach initiative. The deadline to enter is October 27th at 11:59pm EDT.  Visit the SNOLAB poster design contest page for more details. 

What: SNOLAB Dark Matter Poster Contest 
When: Deadline is October 27, 2023 
Where: Go to for more information 
How: That’s up to you …. be creative. 
Why: Because everybody loves a mystery! 

Dark Matter Day is a public outreach initiative from the Interactions Collaboration, an international community of particle physics communication specialists, Dark Matter Day celebrates the work underway at laboratories and institutions around the world. Dark Matter Day events begin in late October and highlight the global search for dark matter, the many fascinating ways scientists search for this elusive substance, and the value of devoting scientific resources to unraveling this cosmic riddle. For more information and resources, visit the Dark Matter Day website.

Media contact:  

Michael Whitehouse  

Senior Communications Officer | SNOLAB  

(705) 690-5270