Title: Photonics Explorer: An Educational Kit for Primary/Secondary Schools to Educate Young People About the Basics of Optics and Photonics
Stream: Teaching Experiences, Pedagogy, Practice & Praxis
Presentation Type: Poster Presentation
Dana Seyringer, Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, Austria
Arno Grabher-Meyer, V-Research, Austria
Today, optics and photonics technologies affect almost all areas of our life and cover a wide range of applications in science and industry like information and communication technology, medicine, life science or environmental technology. However even so attractive, the photonics is not well known by majority of people. To motivate especially young generation for optics and photonics, the photonics research team at Vrije Universiteit in Brussel developed for students of secondary schools an educational kit called Photonics Explorer. The concept of this kit is a 'lab-in-a-box' that enables students of the 2nd and 3rd grade to do photonic experiments themselves at school with lasers, LEDs, lenses, optical fibers, and other high-tech components.
The modular structure of the kit allows the teachers to adapt the materials easily to their teaching situation. All modules consist of the lesson preparations for teachers and the worksheets, factsheets and other multimedia material for students to be able to integrate the experiments into the lessons with as little effort as possible.
The first important step to implement Photonics Explorer into curricula at the secondary schools is to help teachers to get familiar with the kit and with experiments. To this purpose, Photonics Austria together with the universities in Austria regularly organize training seminars for teachers. The second option to support the teachers is to organize a common lecture of one module directly in the classrooms. In the frame of Austrian based project Phorsch! we have organized both activities and the experience will be presented here.
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