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Proceedings Paper

Successfully using optical components and systems in novel ways during educational outreach programs for K-12 grades
Author(s): Donn Silberman
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Paper Abstract

Much work has been done in efforts to reach students in the K-12 grades to encourage them to learn about optics and related sciences and technologies. One goal of these efforts is to develop the future optical scientists and engineers to carry on the work of this and related societies. One main obstacle is to create low costs novel and effective hands-on optical components and systems for these students to use and from which to get excited. Students at different grade levels and abilities are receptive to different kinds of components and systems and this must be taken into account when preparing for outreach programs. There are, however, some guiding principles which can be used throughout the various levels, including making sure the components and systems are good examples and not marginal. Small telescopes or microscopes that use poor quality optics which provide poor quality images do more to discourage young students from going into the sciences than if they never had the experience at all. Some examples of both poor and good quality optical components and systems that will be described and demonstrated include: lenses, telescopes, microscopes, diffraction gratings, Kaleidoscopes, Fresnel Lenses, polarization filters and liquid crystals. The figures in this paper are in color and best viewed on-line or printed with a good color printer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 2006
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 6289, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX, 628901 (5 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.680682
Show Author Affiliations
Donn Silberman, Optics Institute of Southern California (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6289:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX
José M. Sasian; Mary G. Turner, Editor(s)

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