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Taking local optics outreach abroad for IYL 2015: administrative and logistical challenges and strategies

Taking local optics outreach abroad for IYL 2015: administrative and logistical challenges and strategies
Taking local optics outreach abroad for IYL 2015: administrative and logistical challenges and strategies
The Lightwave Roadshow is an outreach program run by research students at the University of Southampton, UK, that seeks to educate and inspire young students with optics, through conducting workshops in local schools and exhibiting at local and regional educational fairs. Adopting a hands-on philosophy enabled by an extensive collection of experimental optical demonstrations, Lightwave aims to promote scientific interest and indirectly address the global STEM skills shortage. While Lightwave has become a well-established program in local schools since its inception in 1998, 2015 included an unprecedented number of overseas activities. Inspired by the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015), Lightwave organized a school workshop in a foreign country (Singapore) as well as exhibited at major events, including the IYL 2015 opening ceremony in France, which marked the first time that the roadshow used UK school students to deliver outreach activities beyond the UK. These recent successful overseas projects have encouraged the outreach team to continue expanding the reach of the roadshow internationally. Of particular note is the involvement of Lightwave at academic conferences, where experiences and best practices can be shared among outreach ambassadors from different programs, student chapters, universities, and organizations. This paper provides a review of these activities, and identifies the administrative and practical challenges of bringing a local outreach program abroad and some strategies to overcome them. We also outline our travel suite of experimental demonstration kit, a portable selection from our main equipment inventory. This won the recent OSA ‘IYL-To-Go’ student competition.
Optics education, Photonics outreach, International outreach, Public engagement, Outreach logistics, Student chapter, IYL 2015, STEM
Wong, Nicholas
f9721f60-e45a-4f2b-9803-023d012fc743
Posner, Matthew
884b2318-83c1-4f8a-8d36-a2566b8766cb
Mittal, Vinita
fd5ee9dd-7770-416f-8f47-50ca158b39b0
Gray, David
46319dbb-26c5-487b-af42-891e7b00e14f
John, Pearl
7e33c78a-14dd-4f15-8b5f-3de74b2b0eb9
Wong, Nicholas
f9721f60-e45a-4f2b-9803-023d012fc743
Posner, Matthew
884b2318-83c1-4f8a-8d36-a2566b8766cb
Mittal, Vinita
fd5ee9dd-7770-416f-8f47-50ca158b39b0
Gray, David
46319dbb-26c5-487b-af42-891e7b00e14f
John, Pearl
7e33c78a-14dd-4f15-8b5f-3de74b2b0eb9

Wong, Nicholas, Posner, Matthew, Mittal, Vinita, Gray, David and John, Pearl (2016) Taking local optics outreach abroad for IYL 2015: administrative and logistical challenges and strategies. SPIE Optics Education and Outreach IV, San Diego, United States. 31 Aug - 01 Sep 2016. 13 pp . (doi:10.1117/12.2237442).

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

The Lightwave Roadshow is an outreach program run by research students at the University of Southampton, UK, that seeks to educate and inspire young students with optics, through conducting workshops in local schools and exhibiting at local and regional educational fairs. Adopting a hands-on philosophy enabled by an extensive collection of experimental optical demonstrations, Lightwave aims to promote scientific interest and indirectly address the global STEM skills shortage. While Lightwave has become a well-established program in local schools since its inception in 1998, 2015 included an unprecedented number of overseas activities. Inspired by the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015), Lightwave organized a school workshop in a foreign country (Singapore) as well as exhibited at major events, including the IYL 2015 opening ceremony in France, which marked the first time that the roadshow used UK school students to deliver outreach activities beyond the UK. These recent successful overseas projects have encouraged the outreach team to continue expanding the reach of the roadshow internationally. Of particular note is the involvement of Lightwave at academic conferences, where experiences and best practices can be shared among outreach ambassadors from different programs, student chapters, universities, and organizations. This paper provides a review of these activities, and identifies the administrative and practical challenges of bringing a local outreach program abroad and some strategies to overcome them. We also outline our travel suite of experimental demonstration kit, a portable selection from our main equipment inventory. This won the recent OSA ‘IYL-To-Go’ student competition.

Text
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More information

Submitted date: 8 February 2016
Accepted/In Press date: 27 April 2016
Published date: 27 September 2016
Venue - Dates: SPIE Optics Education and Outreach IV, San Diego, United States, 2016-08-31 - 2016-09-01
Keywords: Optics education, Photonics outreach, International outreach, Public engagement, Outreach logistics, Student chapter, IYL 2015, STEM
Organisations: Optoelectronics Research Centre, Physics & Astronomy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402027
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402027
PURE UUID: f8ca8988-7f3b-48fd-9bd1-bea6ee144d0d
ORCID for Nicholas Wong: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1743-3959
ORCID for Matthew Posner: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4439-9135
ORCID for Vinita Mittal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4836-5327

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Oct 2016 14:52
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:27

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