February 12th, 2013Homepage Slider, PRIMALIGHT NewsJuan Sebastian Totero Gongora 0 Comments

Here at PRIMALIGHT, besides our research activitity, we are also very concerned on social responsibility, and one of the most exciting and efficient ways to let science enter society is nurturing children’s interest in science & technology.

For this reason, we are proud to announce that PRIMALIGHT, in collaboration with the KAUST OSA Student Chapter and the Photonics Laboratory at KAUST, successfully applied for one of the OSA Youth Education Grants.

More precisely, the 400$ grant consists of an Optics suitcase, specifically designed to teach, using simple experiment, the basic principle of optics (e.g. colors, polarization, diffraction and selective reflection) in an amusing and proactive way to elementary school children.

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In two sessions on March 10th 2013 and March 13th, 2013, Klemens Katterbauer, Juan Gongora, Changxu Liu, Daniel Toth (PRIMALIGHT) and Bilal Janjua, Chao Shen, Pawan Mishra (Photonics Laboratory) explained to 72 students and their teachers in grade 3 the physics and chemistry behind light, materials and colors.

Starting out with group work to define what a scientist is, then introduced that light travels in straight paths and its velocity, followed by an experimental demonstration of reflectance of light. Group works followed by lectures led the group to a greater understanding of the properties of light and its usage, which concluded with a discussion of colors and its observance in nature, and a laser show and video of an octopus changing his skin color to that of a plant. The session was attended by professor Andrea Fratalocchi that participated in the experiments and illustrated the strong connection between nature and photonics in terms of learning from natures creation such as the invisibility of the octopus.
The organizers also acknowledge the support of the OSA in the form of the optical toolbox.