As the Olympic Games came to a close in London last August, nearly 220 people attended the SPIE Optics Outreach Olympics in San Diego during SPIE Optics + Photonics.
Teams from SPIE Student Chapters in Mexico, India, and the United States collected gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively, as 16 SPIE Student Chapters competed for the best optics outreach demonstrations used to educate schoolchildren and the general public about light-based technologies.
Winning a gold medal for the SPIE Student Chapter at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Mexico), Chapter president Perla Viera Gonzalez and vice president Guillermo Sanchez Guerrero demonstrated “the magic of the human eye” for a panel of judges.
It was the third year a team from Mexico has won gold in the competition, which began in 2010. The UANL team used an optics kit to explain stereoscopic vision, wave motions, and other phenomena related to image formation.
For the second year in a row, a team from India won the silver medal. Gowrishankar Subramaniam, president of the Student Chapter from National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli (India), captured silver for an outreach project on light using home-made items such as a kaleidoscope.
Also for the second consecutive year, the Student Chapter at U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology won bronze for its interactive laser propagation demonstration. Presenters included Chapter president Michael Steinbock, Chapter treasurer Mu Kim, Mark Spencer, Michael Bensor, Melissa Sawyer, and Shane McConnell.
Both the first- and third-place finishers have received SPIE Education Outreach grants this year.
The "People's Choice Award" was given to the CICESE SPIE Student Chapter (Mexico).
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