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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Design and evaluation of optics student competitions and contests for maximal educational value
Author(s): Stephen M. Pompea; Constance E. Walker

Paper Abstract

The National Science Foundation-funded project "Hands-On Optics: Making an Impact with 1234,5 is developing six educational modules designed for an informal museum, science center, or other "free-choice" audience for use by students aged 10-17. The project is a joint project of the SPIE-The International Society for Optical Engineering, the Optical Society of America, and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. The Project Principal Investigator is Dr. Anthony Johnson, the Director of the Center for Advanced Studies in Photonics Research (CASPR) at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. The Hands-On Optics program also has designed and sponsored student competitions that immerse students in a problem-solving environment. We describe how two student optics competitions we have designed can be used to motivate student work in optics. In the "Telescope" competition, students build and test a Newtonian-style reflecting telescope. In the "Hit the Target" competition, students reflect light off of mirrors and through an obstacle course in order to see how close they can come to hitting a target.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2005
PDF: 3 pages
Proc. SPIE 9664, Ninth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics, 96641I (24 October 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.2207731
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen M. Pompea, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (United States)
Constance E. Walker, Carolyn Peruta Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9664:
Ninth International Topical Meeting on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics
François Flory, Editor(s)

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