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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Outreach in optics for developing countries: International School of Photonics model

Paper Abstract

The education system of developing countries like India lack infrastructure for teaching science through demonstrations and experiments. The teaching of optics is generally based on factual data given in text books. Students are forced to believe natural phenomena without actually getting convinced themselves through observations. This imparts a big flaw in the way students understand and experience science. The International School of Photonics SPIE (International Society for Optical Engineering) Student chapter, in Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) in India comes up with their outreach activities, which is mainly aimed at giving hands on experience for school students with Optics. The pedagogy is completely in tune with the syllabus of Indian schools. This activity is being conducted by the students who are studying Photonics in University level. This gives the students a teaching experience as well. The outreach activity has been designed in two modes – Optics Fair & Optics to School. Optics Fair is a massive outreach program which has being conducted yearly since 2006. The two day event attracts more than 1500 school students as well as general public every year. The event is divided into three sections;-Primary, Secondary & Higher Secondary and the experiments are carefully chosen that the students will be able to appreciate them with their prior knowledge in optics. The basic idea put forward is “See and Believe”. In three years this event has become very popular attracting more and more students each year. The response received for these outreach activities is overwhelming. Program is successful in its mission to invoke curiosity and interest in students towards optics. Also within the given time constraint the program is able to give an insight of subject to students.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 June 2009
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9666, 11th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference, 96660G (5 June 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.2207943
Show Author Affiliations
Jemy James, Cochin Univ. of Science and Technology (India)
Praveen Cheriyan Ashok, Cochin Univ. of Science and Technology (India)
Univ. of St. Andrews (United Kingdom)
Jijo P. U., Cochin Univ. of Science and Technology (India)
V. P. N. Nampoori, Cochin Univ. of Science and Technology (India)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9666:
11th Education and Training in Optics and Photonics Conference
K. Alan Shore, Editor(s)

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