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OPTO2015 conference

opto2015-1The OPTO-Meeting for Young Researchers & 10th Anniversary International SPIE Student Chapter Meeting 2015, called OPTO2015 was organized by the Wroclaw University of Technology OSA & SPIE student chapters and newly formed EPS Young Minds Section at out university. I have been held between 27th and 30th of May 2015 in Wroclaw, Poland.

OPTO2015 was a great opportunity for young researches, BC, MS and PhD students to meet, present and talk about their scientific work. We organized several oral sections, poster session, lab tour, soft skills training and integration events. The number of attendees was around 100, making it the biggest even in Poland for students and young researchers within the physics field.

Because OPTO is the annual conference for OSA and SPIE student chapters in Poland, we decided to organize special event focused on their activities. After presentations and short discussion we presented the conference sponsors, which also was the EPS Young Minds organization. During this special section the conference participants could find out what the EPS is, what’s the Young Minds project, its mission, purpose, goals and tools to achieve them. Additionally we presented the benefits for new members and gave short instruction how to establish new EPS Young Minds Section and apply for grants.

This project cost us a lot of work. Organizing the conference by students who hasn’t done anything like that before is a big challenge, but our members accomplished that goal. We are very proud that the Warsaw University of Technology established their EPS Young Minds section and many other still consider doing so. For our section it was a good way to train ourselves within new EPS Young Minds structure at our university and to try work with our new and fresh team within other projects.

Fun with physics – demonstrations in kindergarten

1-fun-with-physicsWithin our formed WrUT EPS Young Minds section all of our members have the experience in the outreach field. We have been very successful in that area in the OSA & SPIE student chapters, that is why we wanted to introduce these kind of activity in the newly form section.
This project was a big success. There wasn’t any problem in changing the scope of our lectures from optics to basic physics. For children in primary school and especially in preschool every scientific presentation is a lot of fun. It also brings to them an inspiration to thinking about the experiment, its result and asking question. As from our observation these children who cannot ask any question react in a special way, on their face you can see at the beginning surprise with disbelief, after that they want to repeat the experiment by their own. When they finally convince their self that experiment show true result they have more curiosity to see and experience another demonstration, which is one of our goal to increase the interest of our physical world.
We carried out demonstrations in one of the biggest kindergarten connected with the primary school in Wroclaw, Poland. The number of attendees where around 80 children (4 groups with around 20 children in each). Our presentation was divided for parts related with air, water, light and balance. At the end some of the children wanted to bring few experiments back again to demonstration, because of their high attraction, so we combined the topics.
In our opinion this project was a success. We increased the children’s curiosity of the physical world, their also trained the ability to perform some of the experiments by their own. The challenge of searching discussed phenomena in their surrounding world went also well. We had a bit of problems with the team work, because all the kids wanted to do the experiment at one time, but for us it was an opportunity to gain some teaching experience. We don’t see any problem to repeat such project in the future if our members will bring the will to do so.