The 'Photonics Explorer' is a unique intra-curricular optics kit designed to engage, excite and educate secondary school students about the fascination of working with light - hands-on, in their own classrooms. Developed with a pan European collaboration of experts, the kit equips teachers with class sets of experimental material provided within a supporting didactic framework, distributed in conjunction with teacher training courses. The material has been specifically designed to integrate into European science curricula. Each kit contains robust and versatile components sufficient for a class of 25-30 students to work in groups of 2-3. The didactic content is based on guided inquiry-based learning (IBL) techniques with a strong emphasis on hands-on experiments, team work and relating abstract concepts to real world applications. The content has been developed in conjunction with over 30 teachers and experts in pedagogy to ensure high quality and ease of integration. It is currently available in 7 European languages. The Photonics Explorer allows students not only to hone their essential scientific skills but also to really work as scientists and engineers in the classroom. Thus, it aims to encourage more young people to pursue scientific careers and avert the imminent lack of scientific workforce in Europe. 50 Photonics Explorer kits have been successfully tested in 7 European countries with over 1500 secondary school students. The positive impact of the kit in the classroom has been qualitatively and quantitatively evaluated. A non-profit organisation, EYESTvzw [Excite Youth for Engineering Science and Technology], is responsible for the large scale distribution of the Photonics Explorer.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptics Education and Outreach II
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherSPIE
Number of pages6
Volume8481
ISBN (Print)978-0-8194-9198-5
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventOptics Education and Outreach II - San Diego, United States
Duration: 12 Aug 201212 Aug 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
PublisherSPIE
Volume8481
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Conference

ConferenceOptics Education and Outreach II
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego
Period12/08/1212/08/12

    Research areas

  • K12; education; intra-curricular; kit; hands-on;, photonics

ID: 2278011