Laser Experiments- Addition to The Optics Suitcase -OSA Rochester Section
by Stephen D. Jacobs and Theresa M. Phuntner
The objective of our program was to manufacture and distribute ~26 Optics Suitcases with supplemental Laser Pointer Experiments packages. In January of 2010 we obtained ~500 red laser pointers from LaserFest. We requested and also obtained at no charge ~500 thin plastic sheets of diffractive optical elements from Tessera Technologies Inc. Corp. We labeled the laser pointers with warning stickers and then designed a series of six laser experiments to be conducted using materials from both the Optics Suitcase and our Laser Pointer Supplement. We wrote a 7 page Guide, entitled "Experiments with a Laser Pointer and The Optics Suitcase". Each Supplement included 12 laser pointers and all the materials (see photo) needed to perform the experiments.
In early February 2010 we began to ship materials to groups interested in performing outreach with the Optics Suitcase and the Laser Pointer Supplement with "age appropriate" children. Supplements were sent to 27 groups that responded positively to the idea of using the Laser Pointer Supplement.
"...the outreach ... went really really well! Tom had a great idea during the Rainbow Peephole [one of the three give-away theme packets in the Suitcase] portion to use chalk dust to show the beam of a laser after diffracting it through the Peephole. We got to see a great fan of rays and the kids absolutely loved it!" -Andrew Fisher, Rochester PS#19
"Liquid crystals, their properties and applications were discussed at Yelena's stand. Heat influence on their properties was demonstrated directly on pupils faces, as you can observe."
"There were 3 stands devoted to 'Hit-the-target' curriculum as the most popular among pupils. The aim of the game was to put a highlight of a laser beam by means of mirror system to the target area with the most score...Comments such as 'that was cool!' and 'wish such activities were more often' were recieved afterwards in a social network." -Nikolay Moroz, Bauman Moscow State Technical University
Flip Video of laser experiments - "We were very fortunate to receive your optics suitcase and laser materials. They were well-used and the students loved the experiments."
-Charlotte Remakus, Kopernik Space and Science Center