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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

When outreach in optics meets architecture: the optical terrace

Paper Abstract

At the end of 2017, Universite Laval's SPIE Student Chapter set out to imagine a large-scale outreach initiative that would be artistic in its form, while being educational in its mission. With UNESCO's First International Day of Light (IDL) acting as a catalyst, The Optical Terrace (La Terrasse Optique, in French) came to life. The first edition of The Optical Terrace was a standalone platform made of three separate 8-ft wooden cubic structures where people could learn about light phenomena through interactive experiments. This project originated from dedicated volunteer work of a multidisciplinary group of students in physics and architecture. Project funding was made possible through financial support from professional societies (SPIE and OSA) and through partnerships with local optics and photonics companies.

In this paper, we present The Optical Terrace as an original example of a large-scale outreach project, educational for both children and adults. It is a student initiative with a long-term high impact potential which, however, does not require continual in-person involvement. By installing the structure in popular and touristic locations within the city, this out-of-the-box initiative is a creative means for teaching the general public about the importance of optics and photonics. Based on the success and lessons learned from the first edition, a new and improved design was designed and built in time for IDL 2019.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2019
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 11143, Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019, 111431S (2 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2523807
Show Author Affiliations
Guillaume Allain, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)
Jean-Christophe Gauthier, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)
Madison Rilling, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)
Frédéric Jobin, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)
Olivier Boily, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)
Antoine Michel, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)
Isabelle Jobin, Ctr. d'Optique, Photonique et Laser (Canada)
Univ. Laval (Canada)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11143:
Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard; Joseph A. Shaw, Editor(s)

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