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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Laser experiments for the secondary school classroom
Author(s): Gareth T. Williams

Paper Abstract

The Laser Applications in Science Education (LASE) project at San Jose State University explores the use of HeNe and visible diode lasers as key teaching tools for an introductory, inquiry-based, precollege laboratory course in electro-optics. Since 1990, National Science Foundation grants and cost-sharing funds from industrial supporters have allowed over one hundred elementary, middle, and high school teachers to attend workshops designed to show the teachers how to present the course material later to their students as prescribed exercises. This experience then leads the students into open-ended 'menus' of further things to try, and perhaps publish their results in the project journal LASE LOG or compete in science fairs. This paper describes course content (set experiments and menus) ranging from laser surveying, refractive index measurements, fiber optics, lenses, scanning and chopping systems, irradiance measurements, polarization, diffraction, visible diode lase construction, and holography. The place of such a course, both potential and realized, in secondary education is also discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 October 1995
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 2525, 1995 International Conference on Education in Optics, (13 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.224013
Show Author Affiliations
Gareth T. Williams, San Jose State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2525:
1995 International Conference on Education in Optics
M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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