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5 September 2006 Successfully using optical components and systems in novel ways during educational outreach programs for K-12 grades
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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.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Donn Silberman "Successfully using optical components and systems in novel ways during educational outreach programs for K-12 grades", Proc. SPIE 6289, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX, 628901 (5 September 2006);


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