Koc University LaserFest 2010
The Koc University Photonics Research Center, Science Society, and OSA and SPIE Student Chapters organized a LaserFest program for middle school, and high school students, which was the first of its kind in Turkey. The objective of this program was to outreach as many students as possible between the ages of 12 to 18, broadening their insights about lasers with entertaining and information related activities in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the laser. The activities of the program included, "Laser Sound Transfer", "Laser Alarm", "Lasers in our daily lives" Prof. Arthur Schawlow's Famous Demonstration: "Balloon Popping with a Laser", "Hit the Target Game", "Khet Lasergame", "Bending a Laser Beam" and "Laser Jell-O".
Laser Sound Transfer: A sound source was used to oscillate a laser diode. Laser beams shining on a remote detector/receiver that converted the beam to an audio signal at a remote station demonstrating the use of laser for sending audio information as well as sensing.
Laser Alarm: A basic electronic circuit was constructed and explained on a breadboard with LDR as a laser beam detection unit sounding an alarm when the beam was blocked. Participants were asked to reach an object surrounded by an array of mirrors constructing a security system.
Lasers in our daily lives: We displayed the devices that we use in our daily life such as laser printers, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM players and took apart old units to show the laser parts inside these devices.
Schawlow's Balloon Popp: We used a red laser beam to pop a green balloon inflated inside a red balloon to demonstrate that the red balloon will transmit the red light, while the green balloon absorbing the beam, will heat until popped.
Bending a Laser Beam: Using a laser source and a water tank with a tap, we demonstrated students the total internal reflection and guiding of a laser beam, to give an idea about light guiding in optical fibers. Hit the Target Game: It is a simple game of hitting certain targets with a laser beam, using a laser source and mirrors. It has been a very suitable game for Middle School kids to experiment reflection, a basic property of light, challenge each other and have fun.
Khet Lasergame: A board of two different colored sets of mirrors, a king and a laser source for each set, it can be called as a "laser chess". We have taught the rules of the game to High School kids on the day and at the end of the day organized a tournament. It was a stimulating activity for students.
Laser Delights and Laser Jell-O: Using different colors of laser sources, Turkish Delights and different shape and color jellies, we demonstrated the basic optical properties of light such as reflection, refraction, and filtering. At the end of the demonstrations all the participants were invited to enjoy the Jell-O and Turkish Delights in an entertaining finale.
The program was organized in two dates. LaserFest for Middle School students will be held on Sunday, October 10, 2010 and LaserFest for High School students was held on Sunday October 24, 2010 at the Physics Teaching Laboratories at Koc University Campus, in Istanbul, Turkey.