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Youth Education

CastellonG3Optical Workshop:
Each year University Jaume I (UJI) of Castellón celebrates the days of dissemination called “Connecta amb la Ciència” (means “Connect with the Science”). These days have the objective of publicize the courses and degrees offered by the scientific area of the UJI. People (teachers, postdocs, students…) working in several areas from the university go to many places around the region of Castellón and offer workshops about chemistry, videogames, optics and photonics, renewable energies, etc. and many high school students attend these workshops.
Taking advantage of the conference “Connecta amb la Ciència” the GOC members have travelled through different towns of the province to bring science to high school students.
We have prepared several micro workshops to show different physical properties and concepts related to optics (atmospheric scattering, refraction, diffraction on a CD, light absorption, polarization…) and also explain how works the human eye. In this way, students from all region have the opportunity to learn science by having fun.
We showed these workshops in 2014 and 2015 and teachers from different high schools requested our workshops also for this year 2016 because the students enjoyed them. This year we have visited three towns, Teruel (9/11/2016), Villarreal (24/11/2016) and Sagunto (29/11/2016). We have some new material for improve our explanations, as for example fluorescent sheets and UV lasers. This activity reached up to 200 students from several places.

First contact with the university:
The second week of January we offered to students in last high school year several seminars. Firstly, we started the sessions with the presentation of our group GOC and our ongoing and future activities. After we showed them some light properties, they made a practical activity related with diffraction to guess if they have a DVD or a CD.

FIRUJI-CIENCIA:

On May took place an activity developed by UJI called FIRUJICIÈNCIA where students from high school and university had the chance to see science demonstrations in different stands. There we showed them some characteristics of light and its application. We explained polarization by using two polarizers and allowing the students to cross them or to move them freely. We made a photoelasticity demonstration, with two crossed polarizers, we told them to add a transparent medium between both and they could see the effect of the material on light. They could also see refraction and reflection, with a glass of water and a coin we explained them the phenomenon of the total internal reflection and the critical angle. We cloaked the coin while it was under the glass, in air, and show them how depending on the angle of observation you can see it or not. Diffraction demonstration were also developed, we used diffraction gratings and lasers of different wavelength to make clear the dependence of the angle of the diffraction orders with that parameter. We had a model of the human eye and lenses to simulate image formation and to let them see the effect of myopia and hyperopia and how to correct them using lenses.

Scientific competitions

CastellonG2Khet tournament:
This tournament has not been celebrated yet, however, a Khet tournament in “Nou Café del Carmen”, a popular bar of Castellón, will be celebrated next February. Khet is a chess-like abstract strategy board game using lasers. Players get use to laser reflection and laser split in two beam by means of beam splitters. We will give a Spanish ham for the winner and maybe we will add another prize for the finalist. It is also important to notice that this year we have added the “Nou Café del Carmen” as a place to organize our activities and give diffusion to them.

GOC QUIZ:
15th of December we made a quiz competition in a famous bar of Castellón called “Nou Café del Carmen” with questions related with physics and optics, among many other issues. A set of funny and curious questions were prepared for this event. There were different types of queries, true or false, questions to join between multiple options and many more. Most of the science activities are only focus to students or people normally involved in science. However, with this activity, we want to reach to all age ranges and social status. Moreover we explain the activities in science that occurs in the city and how can they be involved in these activities. The activity reached up to 25 people, and the people from the bar offered us to add a dinner at their place as a prize in the next edition of the GOC-QUIZ. They ask us to organize the quiz more times instead of just once per year, in that sense we do believe that it is important to continue working and improving this kind of activity where not only students but everyone get involved in science in a funny way. And, of course, at the end of the night the winners received the prize they deserved, a Spanish ham bought thanks to the grant received, and that also helps to make people come and be interested in our activities.

Astronomical observations for general public

CastellonOn 9th May of 2016 Castellón YM Section organized an observation of the transit of Mercury. To let people know about this activity we published it on our Facebook page (Group of Optics Castellón). For the event we bought material for the telescope. The day was cloudy and it was difficult to observe the event, however, finally we were able to observe the phenomenon.
Also we could take of advantage of the event to give information about the optics of a telescope, the planetary movement and several curious science facts that entertained the assistants. Besides, the EPS banner and the purpose of the organisation as well as the purpose of the student chapter were explained.

As the telescope was not available the last months we couldn’t offer the star party, however now we can use it and we are going to do the activity shortly. The plan is to go to a village close to our city where the sky is optimum for doing the observation of several celestial bodies. Also, we are trying to find the best date to be able to see the maximum and to make everybody enjoy the night without freezing.

Finally, it should be said that apart from the activities cited here, in other activities like visiting high schools or schools, we explain the basics of a telescope and how it is possible to observe objects that are so far away. In this sense, we tell the students to join us in our chapter activities by coming to the activities described above.

Drawing competition

Drowing CompetitionWe have celebrated our first Drawing contest from February the 20th to June the 5th in which kids from 10 to 15 had the great opportunity to participate in a contest where they could win a tablet and also during the creation process they could learn about the importance of light and physics in everyday life
The way to judge the work was the following:
We have settled three criteria that the best work should full fill in scale of 20, being 0 the lowest grade and 20 the maximum.
The work with two works with the maximum amount of points have won the prize.
The three criteria are the following:

  • The relation of the art work to the thematic of the contest,
  • The quality of the composition.
  • The creativity and originality.

The jury have announced the names of the winners during the first day of June in the website of the Group of Optics Castellón.
When finally the names of the respective winners were announced we have scheduled a day with the respective schools of the winners, in order to have a ceremony. During the ceremony or award celebration, at the very beginning we have gave a talk focused on the international year of light focusing on the importance of light in the everyday life.
In general the response from the children was so good and gratifying, during the presentation they have found really interesting the possible applications of LEDs and LASERs. Thus, they have been asking so many questions about the machines that contain LEDs and LASERs. Moreover, the winners showed interest about physics topics.

Scientific Competitions

DSC_0076KHET TOURNAMENT
20th of February the GOC YM Section celebrated a Khet tournament in “El Café dels Artistes”, a popular bar of Castellón.
Khet is a chess-like abstract strategy board game using lasers. Players get use to laser reflection and laser split in two beam by means of beam splitters.
During the afternoon, people had around 2 hours to practice and learn playing Khet. We explained them the rules and how the laser reflects to the mirrors. When they got used to the rules, the tournament of random pairs started. We had 5 Khet games, so we made several rounds and the tournaent lasted around three hours.
All participants started the night with the expectation of being able to take home the trophy, however, soon they began to break their hopes with the first defeats.
After three tough rounds, four players were beaten in the final rounds in order to stand as winner. At the end, the defensive style of Sergio, who had left all his opponents misplaced throughout the evening, succumbed to the relentless attack of Paco, who won the prize after a night of relentless duels. No doubt, the great physical and mental preparation paid off and Paco managed to win as champion.
But both deserved a price, so we gave two awards. A backpack with pen, pencil, Universitat Jaume I information, and a 4GB USB to the semifinalist and a Spanish ham for the winner.
The activity was a success and it helped to promote optics around young people. Using the game we had the opportunity to explain basic concepts about lasers and how the light travels. Moreover, since that they we stablished contact with some of the participants that are students of the University Jaume I and one of them became a new member of our section.

GOC QUIZ
26th of November we made a quiz competition in a famous bar of Castellón called “El café dels artistes” (“The artists coffee-bar”) with questions related with physics and optics, among many other issues. A set of funny and curious questions were prepared for this event. There were different types of queries, including musical questions about famous series or films, true or false, questions to join between multiple options and many more.
Most of the science activities are only focus to students or people normally involved in science. However, with this activity, we want to reach to all age ranges and social status. Moreover we explain the activities in science that occurs in the city and how can they be involved in these activities.

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST
We organized a photography contest where the participants had to present a photography related to the optics field, with a brief explanation of the phenomenon that they had photographed. We did it via Instagram, with the hashtag #concursogoc and the deadline to present the pictures was 6 of January of 2016. 161 pictures were sent and the best combination of picture and explanation won a submergible camera. The best pictures with the explanation will be exposed at “The artist’s coffee-bar” where there are always art exhibitions and where we usually do the GOC QUIZ.

Optical tournament

Optical TournmentThanks to the IYL Young Minds Grant the GOC YM Section  created an optical tournament where students from a High School enjoyed with the first contact with the light science. Public learned about general concepts of optics such as reflection, transmission, light guides, fluorescence and absorption and they did it in a funny way. More details and pictures can be found in the section webpage.

It was a succesful event that took place on Thursday 17th of Desember at the gym of the Torreblanca High School. We started at 8:30h in the morning and we finished at 15:00h and we performed the different games with more than 100 pupils of the High School.

As planned, the tournament consisted in different separated events where participants had to overcome different tests. The participants were organized in groups. Each group stayed 10 minutes at each stage. After this time, the groups had to rotate between all the different stages until each one has passed one time per stage. There was a minimum and maximum punctuation for each stage. Depending on the group performance they obtained a determinate number of points. At the end of the day, the group of students with a higher score received a christmas price.

Funds were used to buy the materials needed to perform the optical contest. We bought laser sources, mirrors, optical materials to build optical puzzles (polarizers, gratins, sensors), an smoking machine, metallic basis in order to build the optical golf and the laser maze. Also, some of the budget was spent in buying little prizes for the winners of the contest. At last, a little part of the budget was spent in the trip to the high-school in the area near our city in order to perform the contest.

Now that we have all activities prepared and all material we need, we will repeat the contest with the high schools that demand it and also in other context.

Optical Workshop

Optical workshopEach year University Jaume I (UJI) of Castellón celebrates the days of dissemination called “Connecta amb la Ciència” (means “Connect with the Science”). These days have the objective of publicize the courses and degrees offered by the scientific area of the UJI. People (teachers, postdocs, students…) working in several areas from the university go to many places around the region of Castellón and offer workshops about chemistry, videogames, optics and photonics, renewable energies, etc. and many high school students attend these workshops.
Taking advantage of the conference “Connecta amb la Ciència” the GOC members have travelled through different towns of the province to bring science to high school students.
We have prepared several micro workshops to show different physical properties and concepts related to optics (atmospheric scattering, refraction, diffraction on a CD, light absorption, polarization…) and also explain how works the human eye. In this way, students from all region have the opportunity to learn science by having fun.
We showed these workshops in 2014 and teachers from different high schools requested our workshops also for this year 2015 because the students enjoyed them. This year we have only visited the Puerto de Sagunto town (last 2nd March) and a high school near to the university (last 22nd April). However we have already planned visiting Morella (23rd October), Vinaroz (26th October), Sagunto (9th November), and Vila-Real (16th November). We have some new material for improve our explanations, so we hope students learn more and enjoy very much!

 

General public outreach

2015_Castellon_GOC_GO_01Solar observation:
We panned to move to the city center (city hall square) in order to offer any passerby the opportunity to observe the eclipse. We printed and buy all the needed staff for the observation but unfortunately it was cloudy and raining and we could not observe the sky. We have kept all and we have planned to do a solar observation another day without eclipse.

Cicle of Scientific cinema:

After the great reception we had last year, we celebrated again our yearly Scientific Cinema Series. Considering the feedback we gathered from the previous edition, we selected a new list of open titles to bring scientific discussion to the community.
In this occasion we projected four different movies, ranging from science-fiction (Solaris, by Andrei
Tarkovski, based on the novel by Stanislaw Lem) to historical movies (Copenhagen, starring Daniel Craig in the role of Werner Heisenberg) about science discoveries and even one documentary about the life of Stephen Hawking, taking advantage of the premiere of his biopic.
During those projections we reached a total public of about two hundred people from both the university community and also the local people from Castellón. We also appeared on the local news and the university bulletin, provided that this is a unique initiative that merges both art and science.
At the end of every projection we promoted a debate based on the content of the different movies. Those debates were a huge success, as everyone was interested in discussing the different aspects about each film. For example, after the projection of Copenhagen, we had a delightful conversation about the boundaries of morality, science and their relation to historical moments, were all those matters get kind of blurry due to international tension.
We also used the Cinema Series as a platform to inform about our other outreach activities. As this provided great benefits, we plan to continue with the cinema series on the future. We think that it is a very good way to disseminate science in a relaxed ambient, and also we can take advantage of the platform to inform people about our activities.

 

Scientific documentary

DocumentaryIn order to disseminate the science of optics and photonics within the International Year of Light 2015, we have developed a documentary in collaboration with Vector Productions.
The documentary focuses on the history of optics in Spain from the first treaties in the Arab world to state of the art research today.
The documentary was filmed in Murcia, a Mediterranean city in southeastern Spanish. It explains issues such as reflection, refraction, diffraction, wave-particle duality and some properties of lasers. It speaks, in an accessible form, on where we can find the light based technologies in our daily lives, to bring all public the importance of light in our technological development. The documentary also contains an interview with Dr. Pablo Artal, director and founder of the Research Centre in Optics and Nanophysics at the University of Murcia. He talks about his visual simulator, how they are able to perform measurements that help us better understand the fundamental dynamics of the eye and that will, in the future, improve aspects such as refractive cataract surgery.
The documentary was developed for projection on schools, colleges, universities, conferences… It was recently premiered at Valencia IONS congress, held during the 24th, 25th and 26th September, a conference organized by the University Jaume I Young Minds Section and co-financed by EPS. In December it will be screened in Granada, at “Desgranando Ciencia”, a national event dedicated to the dissemination of science in all fields. In the following months, we will be projecting the documentary in our University, in several schools in Castellón, etc.
From January 2016 the documentary will be free and it will be available online for download so that any teacher can download it and show it to their students at school or university.
Here there is a picture that we took after its projection at Valencia IONS congress.

First contact with the university

schoolsDays 11, 14, 15 and 21 of January we offered to students in last high school year several seminars. Firstly, we started the sessions with the presentation of our group GOC and our ongoing and future activities. Secondly, we explained why 2015 is the International Year of Light and the importance of light for the life. After we showed them some light properties, they made a practical activity related with diffraction to guess if they have a DVD or a CD.
Some month later, on Thursday 21st of May took place an activity developed by UJI called FIRUJICIÈNCIA where students from high school and university had the chance to see science demonstrations in different stands. There we showed them some characteristics of light and its application.
We explained polarization by using two polarizers and allowing the students to cross them or to move them freely. We made a photoelasticity demonstration, with two crossed polarizers, we told them to add a transparent medium between both and they could see the effect of the material on light. They could also see refraction and reflection, with a glass of water and a coin we explained them the phenomenon of the total internal reflection and the critical angle. We cloaked the coin while it was under the glass, in air, and show them how depending on the angle of observation you can see it or not. Diffraction demonstration were also developed, we used diffraction gratings and lasers of different wavelength to make clear the dependence of the angle of the diffraction orders with that parameter. Besides, with red, blue and green sources we generated white light to show the spectral content of white light and to explain the importance of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics in order to have white light sources with LED illumination. We had a model of the human eye and lenses to simulate image formation and to let them see the effect of myopia and hyperopia and how to correct them using lenses. Finally, outside the building where FIRUJICIÈNCIA took place, we brought a telescope in order to make an observation of the sun.
While doing all the activities, we also told the students why 2015 is International Year of Light and why is light so important in our daily life. We informed them about our group, GOC, and also explained about future activities.