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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Hands-on optics and photonics outreach in Riga
Author(s): Natalija Lesina; Janis Spigulis

Paper Abstract

A long-term exposition focused on optics and photonics was created in Institute of Atomic Physics and Spectroscopy at University of Latvia in 2010. Considering unpopularity of science in Latvia and lack of broadly accessible hands-on outreach activities for school children, as well as rapid development of advanced photonic technologies, this exposition was meant to involve more students to the natural sciences and modern technologies. Exposition covers 10 topics of optics – colors, diffraction, interference, polarization, reflection, liquid crystals, gas discharge, lasers, fluorescence, infrared and ultraviolet radiation. Students’ visits are organized as an exciting adventure, which differs from ordinary school lessons. The visit mainly includes own actions with hands-on exhibits, lecturer’s explanations about the most difficult topics and some demonstrations shown by the lecturer. The main accent is made on hands-on experiments due to the fact that students, who had performed hands-on experiments, will be emboldened to choose their career in the field of science and technologies. The exposition now is running and is part of Riga Photonics Center. Nearly 300 students from the 8th till 12th grades visited it during academic years 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 and their generally positive feedback has been analyzed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 July 2014
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 9289, 12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, 92892I (17 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2070737
Show Author Affiliations
Natalija Lesina, Univ. of Latvia (Latvia)
Janis Spigulis, Univ. of Latvia (Latvia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9289:
12th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
Manuel F. P. C. Martins Costa; Mourad Zghal, Editor(s)

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