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30 August 2010 Photonic games: hands-on challenges to spark teenagers' interest in light
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It often takes one single event to interest teenagers in a topic that will become a passion or a career. It is in this spirit that the SPIE and OSA Student Chapters at Université Laval created the Photonic Games three years ago, to kindle an interest in teenagers towards studies and careers in optics. The activity, offered each year to more than a hundred grade 11 students, is divided in two parts. First, we offer a hands-on workshop in their classrooms about reflection, refraction, dispersion, birefringence and polarization. A few days later, all the students come to the Centre d'optique, photonique et laser (COPL) at Université Laval for a day of competition where a volunteer physics student accompanies each team of four students. Challenges are various to promote the qualities that make great scientists: creativity, teamwork, knowledge, inquisitiveness, self-confidence and perseverance. The first two editions of the Photonic Games have proven to be beneficial for the students, teachers and volunteers, and we endeavor to improve it as we construct on our experience with the past editions to fine-tune and improve the Photonic Games concept.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
A.-S. Poulin-Girard, G. Thériault, A. April, S. Bassene, H. Dehez, A. Desbiens, G. Goubert, H. Lemieux, J. Lévesque, B. Roy, and V. Zambon "Photonic games: hands-on challenges to spark teenagers' interest in light", Proc. SPIE 7783, Optics Education and Outreach, 77830A (30 August 2010);

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