We perform activities for secondary education students in which we introduce Optics as an exciting branch of Physics. Light is everywhere around us, and for this reason we want to make known what light is, what its properties are, what phenomena occur when it interacts with matter and what applications it has in everyday technology. The objective is to capture the attention of young people with surprising experiments, to explain optical phenomena that occur in our day to day. The experiments cover various fields such as color, reflection and refraction, image formation, fluorescence and phosphorescence, holography or polarization. The activity is carried out by Physics students in their last undergraduate, master’s and doctoral courses, members of our student chapter.
Modality A: Visit to the Optics Laboratory at the University of Salamanca
Location: Teaching Optics Laboratory at USAL (Edificio Trilingüe de la Facultad de Ciencias, Pl. La Merced sn, 37008, Salamanca)
Approximated duration of the whole activity: 1.5 – 2 hours
In this modality the maximum number of students participating in the activity is limited to 25.
We hold an introductory talk of about 20-30 minutes to explain the fundamental concepts behind the experiments that will follow in the laboratory, in order to facilitate a deeper understanding.
In the second part of the activity (around 30-50 minutes), the experiments are exhibited in small groups of about 3-6 students (depending on availability) who rotate through different positions in the practical laboratory. USAL optics.
In the months of September, October, November, December and January, in collaboration with the “Salamanca Ciudad de Saberes” Foundation, we have a visiting program for the high schools in Salamanca, maintaining at least one visit per week. In any case, it is also possible to request this activity with the contact form at the bottom of this page.
Modality B: Outreach activity in the educational center
Location: Educational center applying for this activity.
Approximated duration of the whole activity: 1 – 1.5 hours
We move to the educational center to carry out the activity of scientific dissemination. The activity requires the transfer of some members of the association, from 2 to 5 depending on availability, and the necessary material for the experiments. In this case, the topic may be more open to the interests of the center, and cover a more general dissemination of Physics or the visibility of women scientists, for example. The outreach activity in which we have the most experience is a talk format with impressive experiments to discover light. In order to exploit all the visual power of some experiments, it is necessary to be in dim or low light conditions. The activity can be carried out in a classroom or in an auditorium (for a larger number of attendees) with the capacity to project a slide show. In case that he maximum number of students does not exceed 30, the possibility of developing a more interactive format for the experiments could be studied, making small groups of 4-6 students in a large classroom or several small classrooms.