Abstract

The PHOTON Explorations were adapted from favorite demonstrations of teacher participants in the PHOTON projects of the New England Board of Higher Education as well as Hands-on-Optics activities and interesting demonstrations found on the web. Since the end of project PHOTON2 in 2006, the sixteen inquiry-based activities have formed the basis for a hands-on “home lab” distance- learning course that has been used for college students, teacher professional development and corporate training. With the support of OSA, they have been brought to life in a series of sixteen short videos aimed at a middle school audience. The Explorations are regularly used as activities in outreach activities for middle and high school students and are introduced yearly to an international audience at an outreach workshop at SPIE’s Optics and Photonics meeting. In this paper we will demonstrate the Explorations, trace their origins and explain the content. We will also provide details on the development of the Exploration videos, the online course, and outreach materials and give statistics on their use in each format. Links to online resources will be provided.

© 2013 OSA, SPIE, IEEE, ICO

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