This work shows the results obtained from the “O4K” Project supported by International Society for Optics and Photonis (SPIE) and the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) through its SPIE Student Chapter and the Dr. Juan Carlos Ruiz-Mendoza, outreach coordinator of the Facultad de Ciencias Fisico Matematicas of the UANL. Undergraduate and graduate students designed Optics representative activities using easy-access materials that allow the interaction of children with optics over the exploration, observation and experimentation, taking as premise that the best way to learn Science is the interaction with it. Several activities were realized through the 2011-2013 events with 1,600 kids with ages from 10 to 12; the results were analyzed using surveys. One of the principal conclusions is that in most of the cases the children changed their opinions about Sciences in a positive way.
We present a numerical analysis of different fiber termination shapes in order to study the maximum numerical aperture that can be obtained in end emitting plastic optical fibers with diameters around 10 mm. Our analysis includes the modeling of polished fibers with parabolic shape, conical lensed fibers, and wedged fibers with different lengths, angles and curvatures respectively. The optimization of these parameters allows us to obtain a maximum possible angle which the light can be emitted at the plastic fiber end. These results contribute to minimize the use of fiber components in luminaire systems which can be based in solar concentrators coupled to plastic optical fibers, and consequently it allows us to reduce their installation cost. We also analyze the light distribution of the emitted light and the optical tolerances of the parameters above mentioned to evaluate the performance of the optimized fiber lens. These results are of great interest for the improvement and design of compact luminaire systems based in optimized plastic fiber lens for indoor illumination.