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Randolph College's ScienceFest: Hands-On Lasers

Submitted by Peter Sheldon


Randolph College was awarded $6200 to buy laser equipment for outreach and for courses. Our biggest event that included Laserfest activities was the Science Festival weekend, where one of the many events was a laser outreach activity during our Science Day (Saturday afternoon activities). We ran about 200 children through laser activities. Science Festival was March 26-28, 2010. More information and a press release about the Science Festival can be found at the website. Some photos of the laser activities and of the Science Festival in general are attached.

There was an article written about the Laserfest grant in our Randolph Magazine that has a wide in print distribution of all current students, faculty, staff, and alums. Read the electronic version.

A second outreach opportunity occurred from June 21-25, when we did a teacher institute on campus to help give teachers resources to better teach hands-on science. See press release and website. We did one laser activity with the teachers. For the first time this year, with the help of the Laserfest grant, we were able to do the laser labs properly in physics classes. We did a few simple laser labs in the General Physics II class; the one that the extra equipment allowed me to do properly was the measurement of the speed of light (we now have enough equipment for all the lab groups). And we did a basic laser diffraction lab in the advanced laboratory class.

outreach outreach

In the future, we will continue to use the labs in the physics classes at Randolph College, and we will use the lasers in the 2011 Science Festival and beyond.

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