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  • Fifteenth Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2019
  • ETOP 2019 Papers (Optica Publishing Group, 2019),
  • paper 11143_97

The Optics Suitcase: Educational Outreach Tool for Inspiring Careers in Light

Open Access Open Access


Developed by the OSA Rochester Section (OSA-RS), the Optics Suitcase is an innovative, interactive presentation package designed to introduce middle school students to the dynamic and exciting range of concepts within the study of light. The Optics Suitcase contains supplies and giveaway theme packets for in-class presentations that explore color in white light. The goal is to help promote technology careers to middle school age students. A detailed presentation guide is included with the suitcase to help give presenters techniques for engaging students during the presentation and making the demonstrations more interactive. Three experiments explore the colors constituting white light in the form of diffraction (The Rainbow Peephole), polarization (Magic Stripes) and selective reflection (Magic Patch). These three experiments use giveaway theme packets that are designed to help reinforce the study of light concepts at home as students present the information they learned to their family and friends at home. This paper outlines the contents of the Optics Suitcase, a typical lesson plan as well as tips for giving an Optics Suitcase presentation.


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