Recently optics courses have been implemented at the High School of the UNAM. For these courses, the school purchased commercial optics kits to develop illustrative and simple experiments. In education, lasers play a dominant role for many examples of optics, for instance, interference experiments are easily performed and visualized using an inexpensive laser diode or an He-Ne laser. Teacher participation in workshops is very important to make them confident in the use of lasers and other optics tools so their students have a proper guide for hands-on optics experiments in classroom. In the case of the UNAM this kind of workshops started at the beginning of 1997 with 25 high school teachers as the initial phase for designing didactic activities in optics. As part of these activities we have developed forty additional experiments, apart from the ten projects included in the kit manual. In almost all of them, we used a He-Ne laser. Experiments such as air refractive index measurements, irradiance measurements using simple and inexpensive photodetectors, optical activity and polarization, retardation plates, photoelasticity, diffraction and interference, scattering and polarization of light in a scattered medium, and many others were developed. They are performed using the elements provided by the kit and additional and simple items easy to obtain or to make.