From Event: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications, 2016
The 2015 International Year of Light created a wonderful opportunity to bring light and optics events and activities to people of all ages and occupations in Michigan. A large spectrum of events took place; from events held in schools, colleges, and universities targeting various groups of students, to events associated with festivals attended by large crowds. The latter included the Ann Arbor Summer Festival held in June and the Flint Back-to-the-Bricks Festival in August. All events included interactive activities where participants learned hands-on about optics and photonics phenomena and applications. Original demonstrations and kits were developed by the Ann Arbor OSA Local Section and the Optics Society at the University of Michigan, the joint OSA/SPIE student chapter, for use during the events. The activities were funded through the student chapter’s SPIE grant for IYL outreach events and corporate sponsorships. Under the name Michigan Light Project, these groups along with local technology enthusiasts and science clubs delivered several events across Michigan. Other events took place throughout the year in Mid-Michigan through the efforts of faculty and students in the Photonics and Laser Technology program at Baker College of Flint. The outreach events targeted students in K-12. Teachers, counselors, and parents also learned about the importance of optics and photonics in society. The activities developed will continue this year and in the future. The paper will provide details on the completed events and activities along with tips for implementing similar activities and outreach partnerships in other areas.
Anca L. Sala, Elizabeth F. C. Dreyer, Cynthia Aku-Leh, Timothy Jones, John A. Nees, and Arlene Smith, "Celebrating the International Year of Light in Michigan," Proc. SPIE 9946, Optics Education and Outreach IV, 994602 (Presented at SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications: August 31, 2016; Published: 27 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2236490.
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